The bad blood between the Knicks and Rockets concerning the Jeremy Lin situation has been well-chronicled, most notably in the cat-and-mouse game of when the offer sheet was exactly delivered to New York officials. Sports Illustrated does a good post moratorium of the events, and takes us into the behind-the-scenes issues involved. The Rockets had broken the generally accepted unofficial league rule in regards to changing contracts. Let's be clear, here. Houston officials operated in a legal way, but that does not make it ethical.
The root of the Knicks' frustrations with the Rockets, sources said, was the fact that they broke what is seen as an unspoken rule in negotiations by changing an informal offer during the moratorium that ran from July 1 to July 11. Houston initially offered Lin a three-year, $19.5 million deal, and those figures were widely reported after it was put forth.
The Knicks were still deliberating their decision in recent days, and there was no better sign of that fact than one of the team-to-team discussions they engaged in over the weekend. New York, according to sources, was considering matching the offer for Lin while also finding a handshake agreement with another team so that it could, if it so desired, deal him before the February trade deadline as part of a contingency plan.