Jeremy Lin's fans—you can count me as one of 'em—can be a shockingly passionate bunch.
So let me make a few things clear before you click to the next slide.
Lin may not need help. The Houston Rockets point guard's play versus his former New York Knicks team was vintage Lin: aggressive, confident, and instinctual. The offense still did not flow through Lin for the most part, but Lin revved up toward the paint when he had his chances—and when he does that, defenders find him difficult to stop.
Lin may not need one new teammate (he may need four), but trading him won't be easy right now. This article will propose several trades which might help Lin get his game back on track. Still, there are many fans who believe the only way Lin will truly thrive is in an offense designed for his skill set: creating off the dribble and driving off high screens. And they believe that offense is somewhere other than Houston.
Since shooting guard James Harden's skill set is so similar to Lin's, yet the team seems more committed to Harden, I cannot argue with that logic, and in fact part of me agrees with that notion.
But bear this in mind: Lin carries a unique combination of limited experience, sky-high expectations, a spotty season thus far, and a fairly large contract. Finding a team who will make him their centerpiece—as it appeared Houston had done before the Harden trade—may be a tall order.
Houston is not going to trade Harden. Lin fans can hope for this all they want, but the reality is Harden is not going anywhere, and rightfully so.
At this moment in each player's career, Harden is the overall superior player, especially away from the ball. Houston's contract to Harden made it clear that he was their new superstar. And he is already playing at an All-Star level.
Regardless of the reasons Lin has struggled, the reality is he has struggled. Management would be mad to hitch their team's fortunes to the hopes that a struggling player will turn things around, rather than rest comfortably on the shoulders of an emerging star who has proven that he'll take it to the bank, game in and game out.
Working from the presumption, then, that Lin and Harden will remain together in Houston's backcourt for the time being, here are a few trade ideas that might serve as a catalyst to Lin's resurgence.