Updates from Thursday, July 24
The Lakers revealed what number Lin would wear next season on Twitter:
Later Lin spoke about his move to Los Angeles (via Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times and Dave McMenamin of ESPN):
Jeremy Lin talking about trade from Houston at Lakers introductory conference: "I’m seeing it as a new start, a fresh start."— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) July 24, 2014
Jeremy Lin: "I'm not trying to recreate 'Linsanity.' I'm not trying to be the phenomenon I was in New York. I'm just trying to be myself"— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) July 24, 2014
The point guard also touched on playing with Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash (via Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News and the Lakers):
Jeremy Lin on Kobe: "Anybody who wins as much as he does has a mental edge over everybody else."— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) July 24, 2014
Lin on playing with Nash: "I can’t wait. I remember when he as in Phoenix & was 20 & 10 every night. I can’t wait to learn from him."— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 24, 2014
Updates from Sunday, July 13
Jeremy Lin said goodbye to the Houston Rockets via his Instagram account with the following caption:
Thank you to Houston fans, media, Rockets staff, coaches and teammates for the last 2 years! Sad it never went, or ended, the way I had envisioned it to, but God always has a perfect plan and I'll forever cherish that chapter of my life. Im SO blessed to join the Lakers and cant wait to get started!!! #purpleandgold #calikid
Earlier, the Lakers confirmed the acquisition of Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets on their official team website on Sunday:
The Los Angeles Lakers have made a trade with the Houston Rockets, acquiring guard Jeremy Lin as well as a future first round draft pick and a second round draft pick in 2015 (acquired by Houston in an earlier deal with the L.A. Clippers) in exchange for the rights to Sergei Lishchuk, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak.
'This trade allows us to acquire a solid player who will make us a better team, as well as draft picks to improve our team in the future, while at the same time allowing us to maintain financial flexibility,' said Kupchak. 'In addition to what he’ll bring us on the court, we think Jeremy will be warmly embraced by our fans and our community.'
Jeremy Lin is on the move again.
According to ESPN's Jeff Goodman, Lin is on his way to Los Angeles in exchange for a collection of cash and overseas draft rights:
Rockets have dealt Jeremy Lin and a future first-rounder to Lakers, sources told ESPN. Houston clearing space to land Bosh, keep Parsons.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) July 11, 2014
Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski detailed what each side is getting in the deal:
The Rockets finalizing Jeremy Lin, a future first-round pick and other draft considerations to the Lakers, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2014
The Lakers will send cash and rights to overseas player to the Rockets, but no salary back, league source tells Yahoo.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 11, 2014
Bill Oram of the Orange County Register had Lin's thoughts on the move:
Jeremy Lin's agent says point guard is "thrilled" with LA move. Feels valued by Lakers, excited to play with Kobe.— Bill Oram (@bill_oram) July 11, 2014
Pushed into a sixth-man role with Patrick Beverley taking over starting point guard duties thanks to his defense, Lin continued to develop as an offensive threat.
While his assists (5.2 per 36 minutes) took a noticeable drop, he became more efficient scoring the ball, averaging 15.6 points per 36 minutes to go with career highs in true-shooting percentage (57.2) and effective field-goal percentage (50.8). Moreover, the Rockets outscored opponents by 5.1 points per 100 possessions while he was on the floor, per NBA.com
Earlier in the season, he even made history off the bench by recording a triple-double, as Minnesota Timberwolves TV analyst Jim Peterson pointed out:
Jeremy Lin had his 1st career triple/double vs Cavs. 1st bench player since Cedric Maxwell did it in 1988 for Rockets. @SeanGrandePBP— Jim Petersen (@JimPeteHoops) February 10, 2014
As you might remember, the contract Lin originally signed with the Rockets was of the "poison-pill" variety. While he made right around $5 million in each of his first two seasons, he is set to make nearly $15 million during the 2014-15 season before becoming a free agent the following summer.
How would you grade this trade for the Rockets?
Nevertheless, his cap hit is just $8.4 million, making it significantly easier to take him on in a trade. Combine Lin's ability as an effective offensive role player and his worldwide marketability, and his new team clearly wasn't going to be alienated by his less-than-ideal contract.
While he hasn't always lived up to the massive hype, he'll undoubtedly help Los Angeles.
As for Houston, this is mostly a cap dump for Daryl Morey and Co., who entered the summer looking to deal both Lin and backup center Omer Asik. They are thought to be the leading contenders to land Heat forward Chris Bosh.
The Rockets, coming off a first-round defeat at the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers, can now better attack free agency and attempt to stay near the top of the stacked Western Conference.