While the Houston Rockets have pretty much made it clear they’re trying to trade Jeremy Lin in order to free up cap space, the identity of the big-name free agent is still unknown. Chris Bosh, maybe not so interested in staying with the Miami Heat anymore, could be the one arriving, although the Rockets did fail to sign him four years ago.
Lin? He’s waiting to hear if the talks with the Philadelphia 76ers are getting somewhere. Daryl Morey made it quite clear: The Rockets are looking to move the point guard in order to clear cap space. They already made one move, successful for them, which landed Omer Asik for a first round draft pick (protected) with the New Orleans Pelicans. Lin has one more season worth $8.3 million left on his deal as a cap hit, although he will be paid $15 million in salary.
When free agency began and the days leading up to it were full of speculation, the safest bet would be to put your money on the Miami Heat keeping their big three: LeBron James taking a pay cut, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh to, giving Pat Riley the cap space to make some significant signings in order to retool the roster, trying to rebound from a somewhat humiliating performance in the NBA finals, losing to the Spurs in five games.
But now, everything has changed. James is entertaining offers from five different teams not including the Heat. He’s looking for a max deal, and if that’s true and the Heat don’t mind giving him $20.7 million next season, their only chance of making big changes to the team have to do with Bosh and Wade taking pay cuts after they opted out of their deals. It’s hard to say if this was a planned move, each taking care of his own agenda or maybe even James leading the two on.
Bosh can get a max deal, or something close to it, from other teams. Wade? No one is going to pay him that much. He had the chance to make over $40 million for the next two seasons. Pat Riley said before free agency began that the Heat are planning ahead according to their expectancy that all three of them opt into their contracts. All this fog disturbing his ability to see the future isn’t helping.
Lin seems to be as good as gone. Chris Bosh or someone else – the Rockets want a third All-Star, a third “max” player on their team, regardless of what it means to their offensive and defensive balance, or their depth and bench, which could be bigger issues. But the Rockets want Jeremy Lin out? He’s going. It’s better for him individually most likely. For the team? I’m not so sure.