Even though it’s still not open season yet, rumors about who is interested in which players are running along most of the news stemming from the NBA finals. The Houston Rockets are looking for a big trade or addition, and although Jeremy Lin hasn’t been seeing his name been put to use in most of the headlines, the reality of what this franchise sees as its future means he’ll be showing up more and more in these trade rumors pretty soon.
With one more year left on his deal which is worth a cap hit of $8.3 million but actually paying Lin $15 million in a backloaded deal, the talks of trying to get Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love now from the New York Knicks and the Minnesota Timberwolves obviously involve Lin. It’s hard to believe he’ll play for the Knicks again, but it’s not like anyone is asking him. The Timberwolves? They already have a point guard running the show, Ricky Rubio, so they probably won’t be too interested in acquiring Lin – not with this kind of money paid to him.
The Rockets have made up their minds a long time ago – James Harden is going to lead them into the promised land. I mean he isn’t, but everything that can be understood from the way this team has been playing for the last two seasons draws to one conclusion – they believe that Harden is a good enough player to be the star of a championship team. Unless the goal isn’t winning a championship, but reaching the first round of the playoffs. For that, as a number one guy, Harden is fine.
Someone who has been a bit more noticed is Chandler Parsons, with news of the Rockets not picking up his option for next season, which means he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer. Parsons too may be used in some sort of trade deal for a big-name player, but there’s also the chance that eventually the Rockets lock him down with a long term deal. Things are kind of blurry at the moment regarding the talented forward who is improving in terms of numbers but has been showing some worrying signs of selfishness and taking it very easy on defense too many times.
Where does Lin fit into all of this? Waiting for someone to realize how vital he is or at least can be to the organization. In truth, as long as Kevin McHale is the head coach, and that isn’t going to change this season, Lin doesn’t really stand a chance of suddenly getting a huge upgrade in his status. It only takes injuries to Harden or Patrick Beverley in order for that to happen. From time to time, when Lin actually forces himself on a game, the Rockets suddenly remember what they have. However, they always forget very quickly.
A the current climate in Houston, it’s bad for Lin’s career to go there. But being trade material doesn’t always ensure a better future. Lin might land on a team that’s bad for him. Instead of moving forward, he might find himself being a free agent that doesn’t have the right jobs waiting for him, although some teams need to understand that he just might be the best solution to their backcourt problems eventually. Lin himself isn’t making noises. He’s just not that kind of guy. It might hurt him on a team that benefits those who act selfishly.