Jeremy Lin Rumors: Would Lin Have the Impact with Rockets as He Did with Knicks?
With the New York Knicks reportedly on the verge of matching the Houston Rockets' four-year, $28.8 million offer sheet, we may never get to find out how effective Jeremy Lin could have been in a different city.
We can speculate about whether Kevin Martin would turn into a 25-point per game scorer again with Lin feeding him the ball, and about whether Rockets general manager Daryl Morey has completely lost his mind.
But there is one thing I can say without equivocation: Lin would not have the same impact in Houston that he did last season in New York.
There's a plethora of reasons for that, but here are the main ones:
While Houston proved to be more than apt during the Yao Ming era, Lin cannot make the same cultural impact that he can in the mecca of all culture, New York City.
Part of the allure of Linsanity's meteoric rise to fame came from the fact that he was sensational in the most hallowed arena basketball, Madison Square Garden, and doing it for one of the most famous franchises in all of sports.
The 23-year-old Harvard graduate was also something new and exciting during a time where most casual fans check out from the mundane day-to-day happenings of the NBA regular season. Lin's midseason ascension to fame came not only because of his brilliance on the court, but also because there was literally nothing else interesting going on around us.
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Simply Put, He's Not a Star
In a previous piece, I noted Lin's gradual statistical decline as his run as the Knicks starting point guard. We'll re-purpose it here because you don't pay someone $28.8 million just for a famous face:
The Great (Lin's First 11 Games in the regular rotation): 23.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 9.2 APG, 2.4 SPG, 5.5 TOPG, .500 FG%, .361 3P%
The Mediocre (Lin's Next 8 Games): 15.5 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 7.5 APG, 2.4 SPG, 4.0 TOPG, .371 FG%, .286 3P%
The Below Average (Lin's Final 7 Games):13.3 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 5.4 APG, 1.0 SPG, 3.7 TOPG, .429 FG%, .294 3P%
These stats tell us that will make the GDP of a small country over the next four years based on 11 games of elite performance.
Never mind the fact Lin was cut twice before the Knicks picked him up last season...and one of those times was by Morey, who just made Lin a near six-figure player in years three and four of his new deal.
We can try to sit here and pick apart who Lin will actually become. The answer is probably somewhere sitting right in front of us in the "mediocre" section, with a little better shooting percentage. That makes Lin a slightly above-average NBA point guard.
Is Jeremy Lin worth $28.8 million?
I'm sorry, but a slightly above average point guard who produced just 2.96 wins last season isn't enough for me to pay that sticker price.
The Rockets Supporting Cast Is Not Good Right Now
We can sit here and speculate about who the Rockets might get with their over abundance of trade assets, but until they actually land their coveted superstar their roster is just filled with a bunch of league-average assets.
Sharp-shooter Kevin Martin would certainly benefit from Lin's presence as the point guard's Steve Novak replacement, but does anyone else on the roster even remotely benefit from a slash-and-kick point guard?
This is a bad fit for both sides. But with the Knicks prepared to match up to "one billion dollars" (*Dr. Evil voice), it seems like we'll never get the opportunity to see why.
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