NBA Free Agency 2012: Should the Los Angeles Lakers Pursue Jeremy Lin?

Andre KhatchaturianCorrespondent IIIApril 3, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 21: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks drives around Spencer Hawes #00 of the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 21, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Knee surgery has abruptly ended Jeremy Lin's season, and one has to wonder if he's played his final game in a New York Knicks uniform. It seems as though the organization doesn't want to make him the focal point of the offense because of Carmelo Anthony

And one wonders if Anthony was responsible in Mike D'Antoni's departure, because of disagreements about Lin's role and the direction of the team.

So, why would Lin want to stay in a tumultuous environment like that, when he knows that he has the skill set to be able to lead an offense on his own?

Up until the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Lakers' biggest weakness was at the point guard position; but after acquiring Ramon Sessions, they are significantly better in that department. That being said, Sessions becomes a free agent this summer, just as Lin will. Would the Lakers be willing to part ways with Sessions and pursue Lin? 

Why not?

He would be a Lin-credible fit in the Lakers offense. Lin's speed and explosiveness would be a welcome addition to the Lakers roster, and he has shown in many instances that he can be an outstanding facilitator. Lin's ability to score would also take loads of pressure off Kobe Bryant, who has found himself in several shooting slumps this season.

Let's face it, Bryant's not getting any younger, and although he can still take over any game and strike like the Black Mamba that he is, it would be nice to have an alternative scoring option at the guard position.

Lin is more than capable of being that guy—but more importantly, he distributes.

He's one of the best passers in the league, and he has two big men in Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol to work with, so there is no doubt that the pick-and-roll would become a lethal weapon in Los Angeles.

He'll also be an inexpensive signing compared to the money Deron Williams is expected to receive in the offseason. His age and potential also make him a more attractive option than Steve Nash, who is in the twilight of his career. 

Also, Lin has what it takes to handle the pressures of Los Angeles. After all, he plays in a bigger market right now, and he went through one of the most bombastic single-player hype machines in sports history this season when Linsanity swept the nation.

As Frank Sinatra once sang, "If I can make it there [New York], I'll make it anywhere."

Never forget that Los Angeles has a large Asian community, which would easily welcome him with open arms. That's key in a city like L.A., where the fans can turn against a player pretty quickly if he's not performing well. 

Lin is still young and needs to develop. Therefore, it's necessary for him to receive support from fans during down periods so that he doesn't hit a downward spiral and lose his sky-high confidence. 

Finally, with Bryant aging, Lin could slowly receive the baton from the Mamba as the premier basketball sports figure in Los Angeles. Lin has the ability to be a game-changer, but only when he's the highlighted act. He needs to be the focal point of any offense he goes to. In L.A., Bryant will always be that guy as long as he's around. But that could transition to Lin as time progresses, or when Bryant has poor shooting nights. 

So what do you think, buy or sell Lin in the purple and gold?