Jeremy Lin, who has been subject to trade rumors this summer while in the final year of his contract, is almost certain to be dealt following LeBron James’s decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. After two seasons with the Houston Rockets, the point guard could be headed to the Los Angeles Lakers, according to sources.
Marc Stein of ESPN reported that the Rockets are looking to send Lin to L.A. Houston reportedly offered Chris Bosh a max contract days ago, and now expects him to sign the deal, since James has left the Miami Heat. Houston doesn’t have room under the salary cap to sign a max free agent, but they could create enough space by ridding themselves of Lin’s contract.
The Rockets and Lakers are finalizing a deal, a source told Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
Lin could be a good fit in Los Angeles, who has nearly $30 million to spend under the cap. The point guard is set to make $15 million in the 2014-2015 season, but only a little more than $8 million of his salary counts against the cap.
L.A. had a lot of trouble at point guard last season. Steve Nash remains under contract, but the team can’t expect much from the veteran. The 40-year-old has been plagued by injuries in his two years with the Lakers, playing just 15 games last season, and averaging 6.8 points per game.
Lin has never replicated the success that he had with the New York Knicks, but he'd still be an upgrade for the Lakers. In 28.9 minutes per game, Lin averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 assists in the 2013-2014 season.
If the Rockets and Lakers can’t come to an agreement, Houston appears to have another option. Even before James announced his intentions, Houston reportedly had been discussing a deal with the Philadelphia 76ers. Philadelphia can afford Lin, since their payroll stands at just more than $25 million.
While James took his time with his decision, Houston doesn’t have the same luxury. They will need to make a deal within the next two days, assuming they plan to sign Bosh and match the Dallas Mavericks’ offer to Chandler Parsons. The Rockets have until 11 p.m. ET on Sunday to match the offer, according to the Houston Chronicle. However, the team will not have enough room under the salary cap to sign Bosh, if Parsons is already under contract.
Trading Lin and acquiring Bosh could makes the Rockets the favorites in the West. Pairing Bosh with James Harden and Dwight Howard could give Houston the best trio in the NBA.
By adding Lin, Los Angeles opens the possibility of pairing the point guard with Carmelo Anthony, who the Lakers are trying to sign. The two played together with the New York Knicks, and there were rumors that the All-Star didn’t want New York to re-sign Lin.
The Harvard grad was upset last week when the Rockets attempted to sign Anthony, and posted a billboard of the 30-year-old wearing Lin’s No.7 rockets jersey. Now, there's a chance the two will become teammates, once again.