After that Saturday night game, league sources said a Knicks official was still making calls about whether the Detroit Pistons planned to keep NBA Developmental League call-up Walker Russell for the season. The Knicks would’ve signed Russell over Lin, sources said. The Pistons had no idea this was happening, but the Knicks were still rooting for Walker to become available.
It's pretty amazing that the Knicks were willing to ditch Lin immediately after a 25-point performance, but only goes to show just how coveted Russell was around the league after his call-up. The truly scary part for Detroit fans is that New York likely would have swapped Lin for Russell straight up in a heartbeat (if it was possible), which is an interesting scenario to think about.
The Pistons had no intention of letting Russell get away earlier this month, but by taking that stance, this organization basically afforded Lin a few extra days of shelf life. And, as we all know, the kid ended up making the most of them.