For all the excitement and wins he brought to the Knicks last season, Jeremy Lin is now a Houston Rocket, bringing an abrupt end to "Linsanity" in Madison Square Garden. (AP)

For all the excitement and wins he brought to the Knicks last season, Jeremy Lin is now a Houston Rocket, bringing an abrupt end to “Linsanity” in Madison Square Garden. (AP)

Despite the contention from an apparently unreliable source last week that the New York Knicks were willing to match any offer for Jeremy Lin “up to a billion dollars,” Lin is no longer a Knick. He’s a Houston Rocket…again.

Howard Beck of The New York Times wrote this week that Houston general manager Daryl Morey took the chance to rectify past mistakes by signing Lin to a three-year, $25.1 million contract.

Obviously, the Knicks must have taken into consideration not only how good the team would be with and without Lin, but also how many tickets they were likely to see with and without him, and how much luxury tax they would owe if they matched the Rockets’ offer.

“I think they (the Knicks) made a very difficult choice,” Beck told Bill Littlefield on Only A Game. “I think they made a highly unpopular choice, at least to Knicks fans…I do think it’s easier for me to list the negatives in letting him go than the positives. I don’t really see the upside in letting him go.”

The decision to sign Lin was a basketball move for Houston, Beck said, but the marketing possibilities aren’t lost on Morey, especially considering the Rockets are the franchise that featured Yao Ming for almost a decade.

“The Rockets have long-standing relationships with China…so they have business in-roads that other teams don’t have established, and Jeremy Lin might make more sense for them than other teams,” Beck said. “Nothing much gets past Daryl, and I haven’t really seen him overestimate anyone in the years he’s been the general manager in Houston.”