There isn’t anything surprising about the Houston Rockets being in trade talks with the Philadelphia 76ers about Jeremy Lin. The last couple of years have been about that moment: Moving a player they regret signing so they can clear some cap space and add another “superstar” to the team.
The Rockets want to move Lin and his $8.3 million cap hit so they can have the cap space to sign Carmelo Anthony, maybe even LeBron James is that becomes a possibility. In return, they only want draft picks, not contracts, so to not hurt their cap situation. The Sixers are one of a few teams that can actually take a big contract like Lin’s without having to send players back. But they are the ones with leverage, which should mean not getting a first round pick like they got from the Pelicans when the Asik deal went down.
Is this a good thing for Lin? Hard to say. The 76ers look like they’re headed towards another season of not being close to competing. Lin should make them better, and maybe playing for a team that runs the floor at attempts to make it a high scoring, fast paces kind of game will suit his abilities just fine. But in terms of his contribution meaning antyhing, it’ll probably take a season or even more before the Sixers are where Hinkie imagines they’d be.
Things couldn’t be clearer than what Daryl Morey makes them out to be. The Rockets want Carmelo Anthony. They’ve already traded Omer Asik to help it happen, and they’ll trade Jeremy Lin as well once they’re sure Anthony is coming.
You are always having to recruit players and there might be current players at current positions, might be people with the current numbers. It’s unfortunate that it’s often hard to handle. Reality is it’s standard practice. When we went after Chris Bosh a few years ago, we had him in Luis Scola’s number. When we went after Dwight Howard he had Patrick Beverley’s number. I get the sensitivity and I hate that it creates some hurt feelings. I don’t like that, but that’s obviously Carmelo Anthony’s number, that’s the number he wants. He told us that. Bottom line, if Carmelo comes Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin have to be traded. It’s just math. It’s not personal. My job is every day figure out how to win. Sometimes it creates challenging situations.
NBA fans talk about loyalty from players at times, but if there’s actually such a thing, it should be shown from the other side as well. The Rockets have given up on Jeremy Lin; they gave up on him the moment James Harden was traded to the team. But it’s one thing to keep an open ahead about the possibility of moving him somewhere else, than somewhat humiliating him and feeling disappointed with his production, despite the team and its head coach more than anyone else being responsible for Lin not living up to his full potential.