With hopes of rejuvenating his career, point guard Jeremy Lin reportedly finds himself smack in the middle of a potential sign-and-trade between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Yahoo Sports, the Mavs and Lakers are “exploring” a deal that would ship the 26-year-old to Dallas. Lin is currently a free agent, and though the Mavs don’t have much salary cap space, a sign-and-trade would circumvent the lack of space and allow the Lakers to receive something in return. However, it’s unclear what or whom the Mavs would be giving up in order to acquire Lin.
After he was relegated to a reserve role due to his troubles on defense under head coach Byron Scott, Lin entered free agency with desires to once again start in the league. In Dallas that appears to be possible.
The Mavs are still celebrating the agreements they reached with center DeAndre Jordan, stealing him from the Los Angeles Clippers on a four-year, $80 million, and the addition of shooting guard Wesley Matthews from Portland.
Because Dallas used most of its space to land Jordan and Matthews, they have little room to outright sign Lin. The former Knick and Rocket made $25 million over the last three seasons, but Lin is expected to take a pay cut with whomever he signs this offseason.
A solid all-around scorer who could work very well with Jordan on pick-and-roll plays, Lin would have to beat out veteran Raymond Felton and perhaps J.J. Barea, should he re-sign with the Mavs, for the starting spot.
Over 74 games last season, Lin put up 11.2 points and 4.6 assists per game, but eventually lost his starting role to rookie Jordan Clarkson. He wasn’t expected to re-sign with the Lakers due to Clarkson’s development and the drafting of No. 2 overall pick and point guard D’Angelo Russell.
But Dallas represents a unique opportunity for Lin. The Mavs and head coach Rick Carlisle are a perennial playoff power, and Lin’s presence could make up for the loss of last season’s leading scorer Monta Ellis, as well as point guard Rajon Rondo, and takes some pressure off 37-year-old former MVP Dirk Nowitzki.