So we’ve gone through the NBA’s six divisions, trying to find out which teams are right or wrong for Jeremy Lin, based on their current rosters and coaching situations. What did we find out?
We divided the NBA teams into three groups:
- Not for him: Teams he needs to stay away from because he won’t get the minutes and touches he’s looking for and frankly deserves, based on who they have signed on for next season
- The “if club: A fluid kind of group, based on the premise that Lin could do a great job there, but it might take a trade or some internal shuffling to open up the starting point guard or main ball handler spot. Even if he’s better than what these teams have right now, it doesn’t mean they’ll go for it.
- Good fit: Teams that if you land Lin on them right now, there shouldn’t be any question about him starting or playing the meaningful role he should be, assuming they’re interesting in him.
We tried to steer clear of playoff prospects factors, although for Lin, I’m pretty sure that’s an important matter. And now, after all that introduction, it’s time to sum up the last 20 days of articles into one, semi-coherent wall of words. One last sentence: The opinions expressed in the division-only posts may have changed a bit upon further review.
Not for him
The Los Angeles Lakers weren’t a good fit for Lin, and won’t be as long as D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and even Lou Williams are on there together. Chris Paul leaves very few minutes and touches for anyone else on the Clippers, and the same can be said about John Wall in Washington. The Cleveland Cavaliers have Kyrie Irving and LeBron James, the Oklahoma City Thunder have Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, the Portland Trail Blazers have the Lillard-McCollum backcourt, and you can say the same about the Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics: The backcourt is packed. The Hawks? They’re closer to the “if”, but it means a lot of moves being made, and point guards getting traded. Same for the New Orleans Pelicans, while the Detroit Pistons just scream bad fit. And the Houston Rockets? While the beard is still in town, Lin has no reason to drop by.
The “if” club
So here we have teams that will benefit from bringing Lin on (or bringing him back), but it’ll take someone from the front office making some moves. The Indiana Pacers seem like a great fit, but George Hill and Monta Ellis are both on the team. The Miami Heat will be a good place for him to play in, but only if one of the Dragic & Wade pairing doesn’t come back. The Chicago Bulls needed this to happen last year, and yet until some minutes in the backcourt open up (and they might), this isn’t happening. The same can be said for the Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs especially need Lin, but they need to get rid of their mediocre-at-best point guards. The Denver Nuggets need to decide if they’re committed to Emmanuel Mudiay or going with someone who can win for them now, and the Jazz should be in the same kind of thought process, although Utah might simply be a weird cultural fit. We’ve spent a lot of words on the Hornets, so it’s quite clear what needs to happen there for Lin to stay (he might think differently from us), the Minnesota Timberwolves would have to trade Ricky Rubio (which they have been considering) and the Knicks could be perfect for Lin, but there’s one big Carmelo Anthony ego that could be standing in the way.
And on to the “chosen ones”. Why the Kings? Because right now, Darren Collison is the only point guard on the team signed for next season. Why the Grizzlies? Mike Conley seems like he’s drifting elsewhere (Knicks?) which would leave them without a point guard. Right now they don’t even have a coach, but Lin would do well there. Why the Milwaukee Bucks? Giannis Antetokounmpo is their anointed point-forward, but he’s not the kind of player who is going to touch the ball on every possession. This is an athletic group that needs a point guard like Lin to make them run. The Nets, like the Grizzlies and Kings, have one huge hole at the position and there’s the whole head coach familiarity thing which has a nice ring to it. The Philadelphia 76ers are another team that’s more like a clean slate than anything else, and Lin could carve out the kind of niche he’s been looking for if he ends up in Philly. And finally, the Spurs. They’re not in the if category. Why? Because they know Tony Parker has entered the kind of stage that requires some tough decisions about him, and Lin would be the perfect answer to the questions that have come up as the Spurs surprisingly got bounced in the conference semifinals.
Where do you think he ends up?