NBA Trade Deadline: 4 Teams That Would Love the New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin
Prior to his recent success, Lin bounced around the NBA. He went undrafted, played in the 2010 NBA summer league for the Dallas Mavericks, was signed by Golden State and played spot minutes for the Warriors through most of his rookie season. Then he was claimed—and dropped—by the Houston Rockets during the offseason before the Knicks snatched Lin off waivers on December 27th, leading to his window of opportunity and current run of success.
So, how many other NBA teams would like to have Jeremy Lin now?
1. The Los Angeles Lakers
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Jeremy Lin would be a perfect fit for the Lakers.
In fact, the Lakers offered Lin a contract last season before he decided to sign with the Golden State Warriors.
Los Angeles is still a good team but the franchise is missing a cerebral distributor. After missing out on Chris Paul, the Lakers need an unselfish, defensive-minded player to help Kobe Bryant distribute and to set up Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum.
Lin would fit the Lakers' needs perfectly: he does not care about personal statistics (an imperative on that star-studded Lakers squad), plays defense and cares more about distributing than scoring.
Unfortunately for LA, the Lakers don't have any interesting, reasonably priced young assets to offer the Knicks.
2. The Phoenix Suns
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It's time for the Phoenix Suns to prepare for life without Steve Nash. Is Jeremy Lin the right answer?
Lin's breakout has been impressive but no one is going to compare him to the Canadian legend just yet.
That said, Lin and Nash have some compelling similarities. Both are smart players who are underrated athletes. More importantly, Lin's court vision and passing abilities are cerebral, which suggests that he will continue to improve with age and experience.
Nash's contract expires after this season so it will be difficult for the Suns to get value for their point guard. But if they can work out a trade with the Knicks—likely a three team deal for monetary purposes—they should give it a look.
3. The New Orleans Hornets
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Jarrett Jack is a nice player and Grieves Vasquez can thrive off the bench. but neither will lead the Hornets for the foreseeable future.
Lin is an intriguing option because he would provide the kind of distributive abilities the Hornets need while not taking away from Eric Gordon's scoring and status as alpha dog on the roster.
4. The Miami Heat
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The Miami Heat are still looking for a defense-first point guard who can help Dwayne Wade and LeBron James distribute the ball without needing too many touches or constant involvement in the scoring offense.
Could Lin be the answer?
Norris Cole has exceeded expectations this year, but he is more of a sixth man combo guard off the bench. Mario Chalmers is also a decent role player at the point but Miami could clearly use an upgrade.
Lin's unselfish offensive instincts and tough defense would certainly help the Heat but it is doubtful that they have the assets to acquire him. Of course, if he is available in the offseason, who knows what could happen?