Jeremy Lin is coming off a disappointing season where he failed to advance to the 2nd round of the playoffs despite having a team featuring James Harden and Dwight Howard. Furthermore, he was benched for… Patrick Beverley. If you haven’t heard of him, well that’s because he’s a very forgettable dude, averaging 2.7 assists per game as Houston’s starting PG.
With all these rumors of Houston trying to grab Lebron and Carmelo, it looks like Jeremy Lin is on his way out. It’s not a sure thing, however, as the unfavorable contracts of Lin will make it hard for Houston to deal him.
Where do we think Lin will land?
10) Golden State Warriors – There have been some trade rumors that Golden State wouldn’t mind getting Lin back in a trade that would also net them Chandler Parsons. These rumors are just rumors, but it makes sense for Golden State since they could possibly be trading away guard Klay Thompson. However, this is pretty farfetched at this point considering this is all speculation. Still, it’d be nice for Jeremy to get to play for his hometown team again where he’ll definitely get minutes.
9) Utah Jazz – The Jazz have a lot of cap space and are in full rebuild mode right now. Lin could start in the backcourt alongside Trey Burke, or he could back-up Burke. At this point, the Jazz definitely want to develop Burke into their PG. By drafting point guard Dante Exum in the 2014 draft, however, the Jazz aren’t as likely of a choice anymore. For a small market team it would be unlikely for them to start Burke and Exum and pay a bench guy $15 million.
8) New York Knicks – This works because Houston wants to land Carmelo, and they could try to get a sign-and-trade done with the Knicks. The Knicks upgrade their roster with Lin at PG along with Calderon, and Houston gets Melo. With the Knicks not able to upgrade their roster this year, getting 16M in expiring contracts for 2015 makes this an appealing offer for them if Carmelo decides to bolt in free agency. The best part of this deal, however, is Linsanity 2.0!
7) Boston Celtics – Houston has been talking to Boston for a while now for a trade for Rondo, and they might just pull the trigger this time. It may cost them Parsons, and if it does, Houston might not want to pull the trigger. However, a starting lineup of Rondo, Harden, Parsons, Dwight would make Houston a true contender in the stacked West. Boston, on the other hand, gets to rebuild and get a high draft pick in the 2015 draft, along with cap relief. A solid move, but it just depends on whether Boston would require Parsons for the trade.
6) Lakers – The Lakers have really nothing right now except for a “coming-off-an-injury” Kobe Bryant and cap space, and until they sign a big fish, they will keep a lot of cap space. I really highly doubt the Lakers improve their roster much this offseason, with free agents knowing that Kobe’s unfriendly contract really makes it hard to improve this team. However, right now they don’t have a good point guard so Lin would be a welcome addition. The Lakers improve their roster, and more importantly, will sell a ton of tickets to the Asian crowd at the Staples Center.
5) Detroit Pistons – Lin would work well for this team. Without a viable point guard on this team, they would love to have Lin be an upgrade over Brandon Jennings. Plus, they have the cap space and Lin would be an expiring contract they could also use at the trade deadline in case things don’t work out.
The shitty part would be that Lin would likely go into a situation where the team is in a funk. Detroit isn’t a great city, and that team is in the dumps at the moment. It’s unlikely Lin goes anywhere with the Pistons, but hey, you’ve got to earn your paycheck somewhere.
4) Raptors – This hinges on whether the Raptors will re-sign Kyle Lowry. If so, there’s no need for Lin. But if not, they have the cap space to take Lin and would welcome having Lin in an Asian-friendly market where they can now sell a lot more tickets. In a market where you’re holding onto the best PG, it becomes very hard to keep him, especially for an unspectacular Toronto team that doesn’t have a great chance to move out of the first round of the playoffs. Lin would be a 1-year rental and then the Raptors will have crazy cap space in 2015 (currently only $13 million on the books, with $9 million in team options).
3) Stay with the Rockets – Because it might be impossible to lure another free agent and Houston’s pursuit Carmelo, Love, Lebron will be over. I’d say there’s a pretty good chance this happens, considering that very few teams would be open to taking Lin and paying a backup point guard $15 million a year. The Rockets have repeatedly said they won’t move Lin if they don’t get one of their top free agent targets.
2) Mavericks – After trading Jose Calderon & Shane Larkin for Tyson Chandler early yesterday, it’s apparent that the Mavs need a point guard. Raymond Felton is not going to cut it. They need someone who can run the offense with a decent basketball IQ. Enter Jeremy Lin, who can be an elite PG if given the chance to run an offense that features Tyson Chandler (his old running mate), Dirk, and Monta Ellis. Plus the Mavs have the cap room (Lin will only count 8M against the cap) if they strike out at the end of free agency, and Lin would be an expiring contract in 2015. The barriers to this would be if the Mavs do end up signing someone good like a Carmelo Anthony or Luol Deng. But if they whiff in free agency again, then getting Lin to run the point would be a good upgrade for them over their current guards.
1) Sixers – The Sixers need depth on their roster, and with an unsure draft pick (probably not Embiid), they need a backup PG. Plus they have the draft assets. This is a move purely to get some depth, as Lin would backup Carter-Williams, or perhaps play in the backcourt with him. Then the Sixers again have great cap room in the year of 2015 when Lin’s contract comes off the books. This young team is in tank mode, and Lin doesn’t alter that strategy.
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