No matter what happens with Lin, the Knicks and almost every other team in the EC are not going to surpass the Heat any time soon.
The Nets may have a chance if they can land Howard. The Bulls would be the other team but that is assuming Rose's knee holds up.
The idea is to try to win a championship. The Knicks are now a legitimate playoff team but I have a hard time seeing them winning anything more one or two playoff rounds. And that is assuming they are not going to be a 6,7 or 8 seed in which case they will likely lose in the first round.