NBA Rumors: Why Jeremy Lin Needs Playing Time, Not a Mentor

Matt Shetler@@buccos12Correspondent IJuly 6, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks and Team Shaq looks on during the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge part of the 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend at Amway Center on February 24, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  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 Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

It's been  a crazy 24 hours for the New York Knicks when it comes to their point guard situation.

They went from possibly acquiring Steve Nash in a sign-and-trade to watching Jeremy Lin sign an offer sheet with the Houston Rockets (ESPN). Then they went from potentially targeting Raymond Felton (NY Daily News) to eventually signing Jason Kidd away from the Mavericks (ESPN).

Kidd says he's in the Big Apple to mentor the young Lin (NY Daily News), but while that's fine and dandy, it's not exactly what Lin needs to improve.

He doesn't need a mentor as much as he needs playing time.

Having Kidd around will be good for Lin, but that's not going to eliminate his mistakes on the court.

A veteran point guard to learn from is nice to have, but Lin had a pair of those last season in Baron Davis and Mike Bibby, who have a combined 28 years of NBA experience.

No, what Lin needs the most is just the opportunity to play. Nothing is more valuable to a young player than experience.

Whatever concerns there are about Lin's game—turnovers, shooting, defense, etc.—won't be cured by Kidd being around. The only way Lin becomes a complete guard is with more playing time.

At this point in his career, it's unclear how much Kidd has to offer, not only to Lin, but to the Knicks as a team. He will turn 40 next season and is coming off the worst season of his 18-year career. He averaged a mere 6.2 points and 5.5 assists per game while shooting only 36.3 percent from the floor in 2012.

In addition to mentor duties, Kidd is going to have to produce when he's in the lineup, and there's no guarantee he still has enough production left in him to warrant being Lin's backup.

The entire Kidd-Lin thing is a nice story, but it's not necessary.

Lin's a smart kid. He will learn from playing time. Plus, learning from his mistakes is the best teaching tool.

Did the Knicks need a veteran point guard around?

Certainly, but one that they are certain has three years of productive basketball left in him might make a little more sense than simply signing one capable of mentor duties.