In his last five games—all Knicks victories I might add—the Harvard alum has averaged 26 points a contest, including a career-high 38 against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
Before his recent surge, Lin had only appeared in 38 games over the last two seasons playing for the Golden State Warriors and the Knicks, going back and forth between the NBA and the D-League.
Lin’s rags to riches story has me wondering who will be the next D-League player to make their big splash playing in the NBA.
As crazy as it may sound, despite being one of the best teams in the NBA the last several seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers could be looking for some help from the minor league ranks (Derrick Caracter was cut last week, opening up a roster spot), given their trouble generating points and underwhelming bench play.
Here are five players currently in the D-League who could potentially be the Lakers’ version of Jeremy Lin.
These players were selected with the Lakers’ biggest deficiencies in mind.
Booker Woodfox is one of the top five three-point shooters in the D-League this season, shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc.
The Lakers are in desperate need of a guard who can both hit an open three-point shot and someone not named Kobe Bryant who can create any kind of offense from the perimeter.
Unless the Lakers can get a player who fits aforementioned description, opposing defenses will continue to stay glued to Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum in the low post, compounding the pressure on each players' shoulders.
Photo courtesy of: dleaguedigest.com
Brandon Costner is leading the Los Angeles D-Fenders in scoring this season and was named a D-league All-Star last week.
The North Carolina State product is averaging 21 points, five rebounds and two assists this season.
Currently, the Lakers still have one of the best frontcourts in the game with Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum manning the ship.
But the team was ready to trade Gasol this past offseason and until Dwight Howard officially doesn’t become a Laker, rumors of him wearing purple and gold aren’t likely to cease.
Therefore,while it’s certainly far from a guarantee, it’s not crazy to assume Bynum or Gasol could be wearing another team’s uniform eventually.
If this is the case, the team could potentially need backup in the frontcourt. And who knows? Maybe Costner could provide a little consistency coming off the team’s bench, which to this point, has been one of the least productive in the league.
Photo courtesy of nba.com
Are the Los Angeles Lakers seriously desperate enough to sign Antoine Walker?
If you take into consideration their bench struggles, difficulty from behind the three-point line, general lack of production from anyone not named Kobe, Andrew or Pau and a Grammy road trip, which yielded a 3-3 record, the answer could very well be absolutely.
There is no doubt Walker is just a shell of his former self (hence being in the D-League).
But the three-time NBA All-Star, if for nothing else, could potentially provide a spark off the pine and/or provide the team with a legitimate three-point threat.
The move may seem dicey and desperate. But if the Lakers aren’t seriously thinking about a trade (let’s hope that’s not the case) taking a chance on a player like Walker, or Gilbert Arenas for that matter, may not be so crazy given the team’s troubles mentioned earlier in the slide and their largely average record (16-12).
Gerald Green took part in training camp for the Los Angeles Lakers back in December before eventually being waived by the team.
In 19 games with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Green is averaging 19 points and five rebounds a game, including a 35-point performance against the Erie Bay Hawks last week.
The Lakers may want to consider calling up Green not necessarily hoping he will be the next Jeremy Lin but out of necessity.
The Lakers are receiving next to nothing from the small forward position this season. The team only generates 9.7 points per game from the position.
Stats courtesy of: 82games.com
Rafter Alston, better known as “Skip 2 My Lou” for those who remember him from the playground circuit, recently joined the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Developmental League.
But unlike Jeremy Lin, Alston has a history in the NBA.
Alston also helped lead the Orlando Magic to the NBA Finals in 2009, while Jameer Nelson was out with injury.
In his first three games with the D-Fenders, Alston hasn’t made any jaws drop, averaging only two points in eight minutes of burn.
But given the fact he has proven he can make a difference as a starting point guard in the NBA, and the Los Angeles Lakers’ struggles at the position (the team is in the bottom five in the league for overall point guard production, 9.1 points per game), it may be worth giving Alston a chance, especially in Mike Brown's new offense, where a more traditional point guard is sorely needed.
Stats courtesy of: 82games.com