There seems to be an agreement on behalf of the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets, but it’s not going to be just him, also looking for a draft pick or two in order to swallow the cap hit that comes with acquiring the point guard.
Lin, who was mostly a backup guard for the Rockets last season, playing behind James Harden and Patrick Beverley or sometimes with them on the floor in a three-guard lineup, has a cap number of $8.3 million going into next season, but because of tricks and clauses in his contract that made it a back-loaded one, he will make $15 million in salary, which has proven to be a deterrent to several teams.
The Milwaukee Bucks were interested in Lin and are a destination which might have been able to offer him more minutes on the floor, but they weren’t very happy about paying so much to Lin. The Sixers have no problem with his salary and “swallowing” it without sending anything worthwhile to the Rockets, but they’re also looking for at least a first round draft pick and probably something more, probably another draft pick.
But is sending Lin an automatic thing for the Rockets? Maybe not. The reasoning behind sending Omer Asik to the Pelicans and Lin to whoever is willing to pick him is in order to open up room for the Houston Rockets to sign a max-contract player: Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony or even LeBron James. Since Daryl Morey made the move for James Harden in 2012, the goal has always been making this a three-star team, even if it means sending away cheaper, promising players.
But Lin, despite falling into the young and promising category, just doesn’t work out in the grand scheme of things for the Rockets. That vision has James Harden as the point guard everything is going through. A shooting guard who will be better with the ball outside of his hands has taken over the team completely, and sometimes it seems that the main goal for the Rockets and especially the decisions of head coach Kevin McHale have more to do with making Harden happy, and not doing what’s good for the Rockets.
The Rockets aren’t frontrunners for anyone at the moment unlike last year when it seemed clear that they’re the best option for Dwight Howard in his free agency conundrum. Bad coaching and a team that disappointed last year for a number of reasons including having a selfish leading man make them a bit less attractive than before, and sending away someone who has the ability to put pieces together with his smart and unselfish brand of basketball is being sent away.