Los Angeles Lakers: Why They Must Go All out To Sign Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin belongs in Los Angeles.
The Asian sensation was born to wear the purple and gold. Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak must make a major play to sign Jeremy Lin this offseason as a free agent, period!
It's no secret that the Lakers have been afflicted—absolutely plagued—with poor point guard play since Magic Johnson retired following the 1991 season.
Amazingly, Ramon Sessions gave them more production at the point last season than any player has done since Nick Van Exel was throwing lobs to Shaquille O'Neal in the mid-90s—which is saying a lot as the "Sessions Experiment" was widely viewed as a failure.
Sessions' playing time with the Lakers increased from 30.5 minutes per game in the regular season to 31.7 minutes per game in the playoffs, yet his scoring and rebound numbers plummeted around 35 percent—while his assist numbers were more than cut in half!
The Lakers went 5-7 in the playoffs and experienced their second-straight second-round exit.
I personally believe there are four point guards the Lakers realistically have a chance of acquiring this offseason, three of which would be a dramatic upgrade for the position.
The aforementioned Sessions, while not necessarily an upgrade over the 2011-12 version of himself, is certainly far better than backup Steve Blake or former Lakers starter Derek Fisher.
The four point guards I believe the Lakers can acquire are: Sessions, Deron Williams, Kyle Lowry and Jeremy Lin.
As Lakers GM would you rather:
While nearly all Lakers fans would be thrilled with acquiring Deron Williams, the team may have to trade Pau Gasol, future picks and cash to get a sign-and-trade deal with the Brooklyn Nets. The price may simply be too steep.
Lowry could conceivably be acquired from the Houston Rockets, along with another quality player like Kevin Martin and even a first-round draft pick, in a simple trade.
Sessions could simply and easily be re-signed.
Jeremy Lin could, well, hmmm.
Acquiring Jeremy Lin could be a bit tricky.
Which team would Lin rather plan for?
Would it be the Knicks with their ill-suited duo of Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire; Tyson Chandler, a center who couldn't make a 15-foot jumper if he had 10-foot-long arms; and a roster that was called "clumsy" by the legendary Phil Jackson?
Or would it be the Lakers with Kobe Bryant, the greatest player since Michael Jordan; the dynamic big-men duo of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol, both of which can score in a variety of ways; and a home in Los Angeles?
The Lakers would be better off with which player starting at PG
I believe the Lakers would have a great chance to sign Lin at worst, and be the prohibitive favorites to sign him at best.
So, the question is: Why should the Lakers dedicate their energy to acquiring Jeremy Lin rather than Williams or Lowry—or merely re-signing Sessions?
For starters, please study the following statistical table:
|Player||Age||Expected Salary||Per-40 Points||Per-40 Assists||Per-40 Steals||Field Goal %|
|Jeremy Lin||23||$3.1 Mil||21.8||9.2||2.3||44.6|
|Ramon Sessions||26||$4.5 Mil||16.9||8.3||1.0||42.8|
|Deron Williams||27||$17+ Mil||23.1||9.7||1.3||40.7|
|Kyle Lowry||26||$5.75 Mil||17.8||8.2||1.9||40.9|
As one can see rather easily, Jeremy Lin is not only the youngest of the four, he is by far the biggest ball-hawk and most efficient shooter—while also being the second-best pure scorer and assist man.
On top of all this, he will be the least expensive of the four!
I don't know about you, but all things considered, it seems like signing Jeremy Lin should be an absolute no-brainer for the Lakers brass!
Which is the better investment for LA?
The Lakers are in desperate need of an upgrade at the point guard position. Jeremy Lin would be a monstrous upgrade. Check.
The Lakers are in desperate need of youth. Jeremy Lin is just 23 years of age. Check.
The Lakers need someone who knows how to win.
Jeremy Lin led his Palo Alto High School squad on a massive upset of nationally ranked Mater Dei to win the California Interscholastic Federation Division Two state championship. He led Harvard as a senior to the most wins in school history, and led the Knicks to a .615 winning percentage in the 26 late-season games he got quality playing time in.
The Lakers need a point guard that Kobe Bryant will trust and respect. After a loss to the Knicks in which Lin torched the Lakers for 38 points, Bryant said via USA Today:
He has been phenomenal. ... We have watched some tape on him. We came up with a strategy that we thought would be effective, but he was knocking down his jump shot, penetrating and he got around our guards. … Players don't usually come out of nowhere. If you can go back and take a look, his skill level was probably there from the beginning, but no one ever noticed. … It is a great story. It is a testament to perseverance and hard work. It is a good example to kids everywhere.
Even the Black Mamba respects Jeremy Lin. Checkmate!
Jeremy Lin was created to wear the purple and gold, to play in the City of Angels and to lead the Lakers to the NBA title.
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