From a promising young point guard who under the right circumstances could have been an All-Stat level player by now, the Houston Rockets made all the wrong moves with Jeremy Lin, turning him from being a essential part of the franchise’s rise back to prominence into nothing more than a trading chip in a cap clearing deal this offseason.
Lin still isn’t going anywhere, but it’s hard to see him stay. Actually, we heard the same kind of chatter last season and nothing happened. Still, how much more can a player on a team that feels they’re overpaying for him, and under a head coach who has 0% confidence in him, punishing him for every mistake he makes on the court while clearly preferring players that are free to err as much as they like.
Teams need to make their decisions, and sometimes it comes at the expense of certain individuals. Daryl Morey had every intention for Lin to become a key player when he signed him in 2012 on three year deal worth $25 million. But then came James Harden with the big trade from the Oklahoma City Thunder, and anything that the Rockets might have been planning for Jeremy Lin was scrapped.
On the front office end, I’m pretty sure it’s nothing personal. Morey thinks the team is better off with Lin gone, freeing up cap space to make that third All-Star signing they want so badly. On McHale’s part? I’m not so sure it’s completely proffesional. But the Rockets have made up their minds – James Harden, Patrick Beverley. That’s their backcourt. Too bad it’s the wrong decision.
Lin isn’t a better player than Harden, but he is a better point guard. He might not be a pesky defender like Beverley, but he is not as bad as he’s made out to be by those who simply repeat mantras three years old without actually watching games. He’s not going to be an All-Defensive selection anytime soon, but he doesn’t exactly roll up a red carpet for players to carelessly run through like Harden has done all season long.
Jeremy Lin will probably end up playing for someone else this season, and it’s for the best. If he is misused by the Rockets and he has no chance there, it’s better for them to ship him off. There’s no reason to spend $8.3 million of cap space on a player they don’t believe in. For Lin? Some say it can’t get any worse for him than the two years under Kevin McHale. But there are other bad situations around the league for someone like Lin. We’re hoping this very talented player doesn’t land in one of them.