Friday, July 11, 2014

Jeremy Lin traded by Rockets to Lakers for salary cap space

Jeremy Lin is on the move again. Lin was traded along with a first-round draft pick by the Houston Rockets to the Los Angeles Lakers for salary cap space to sign Chris Bosh. Rumors had Lin being traded to the 76ers for the same terms of the deal struck with the Lakers. The Rockets had already traded Omer Asik, the other 'poison pill' contract they acquired in the summer of 2012, at the start of the off-season to the New Orleans Pelicans.

There's no reaction to the trade yet on Lin's twitter or facebook. The Lakers will be his fourth NBA team entering his fifth season after the Warriors, Knicks, and Rockets, not including his first summer league with the Mavericks.

Leaving the Rockets should help Lin. Before his first season in Houston, the primary playmaking role that he was signed to fill with his new team was given to James Harden. After that, Coach Kevin McHale and the Rockets never did figure out a comfortable role for Lin. It remains to be seen how Lin will be used with the Lakers, who are a team in flux and have yet to replace Mike D'Antoni as head coach. [Update: The Lakers' new head coach is Byron Scott.] Current Lakers guards include SG Kobe Bryant, PG Steve Nash, PG Kendall Marshall, G/F Nick Young, G/F Xavier Henry, G/F Wesley Johnson, SG MarShon Brooks, SG Kent Bazemore, and rookie PG Jordan Clarkson. [Update: In a surprise move that clears the way for Lin at PG, Kendall Marshall was released by the Lakers.]

Given the contretemps over the Rockets recruiting Carmelo Anthony by showing him in a Rockets uniform with 7, the uniform number he shares with Lin, it will be interesting to see how Lin and the incumbent Lakers number 7, Xavier Henry, will work out who wears 7 next season. [Update: Lin will wear 17 and Henry will keep 7.]

A year in the company of Kobe Bryant and maybe Steve Nash should boost Lin's development. It's also possible Lin may be traded again during the season. It's important for Lin to rehabilitate his NBA stature this season for next off-season, when he'll be an unrestricted free agent.

Sunday update: Done deal. "The Lakers also received a future first-round pick and a 2015 second-round pick in the deal, sending the rights to center Sergei Lishchuk to Houston." Lin has updated his twitter and instagram with his Lakers hail and Rockets farewell.

Update: Lakers games that will be broadcast on ABC this season are Sunday, February 8 at the Cavs and Sunday, March 1 vs the Thunder.

25OCT14 update: Steve Nash is out for the season due to his back, which most likely means the end of Nash's career. The remaining PGs on the Lakers roster are journeyman Ronnie Price and rookie Jordan Clarkson. With Bryant slowed due to his age, mileage, and injuries and requiring extra care and with no other starter-level creative guards on the roster, Lin will bear the burden of the Lakers backcourt. Lin is the only Lakers guard who can create offense for his teammates off penetration. The regular season begins on Tuesday, October 28 versus Lin's old team, the Rockets. Lin is starting his 5th NBA season. He's now a veteran entering his prime. This season is Lin's time and Lin's team to fully establish himself in the NBA.

Eric

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