Following two productive seasons with the Houston Rockets, the guard could be moved during the offseason. One team with reported interest is the Philadelphia 76ers, who reportedly have room to take on the final year of his back-loaded contract.
Lin has $14,898,938 remaining for the final year of his deal, per Spotrac.com, and the number of teams the Rockets can trade with is limited. The deal makes sense for both sides, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com noted:
The Philadelphia 76ers have expressed a willingness to trade for Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin depending on what sort of assets Houston is willing to attach to the deal, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Sixers, who have ample room on their payroll to absorb Lin's contract, have emerged as a leading contender to take on Lin in a trade that sends no salary back to the Rockets, which would enable the Rockets to extend a rich offer in free agency to either Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh.
Essentially, the Rockets are trying to free up cap space to bring in a big-name free agent to pair with James Harden and Dwight Howard. In turn, Lin is likely to become a casualty of the process and could be dealt to the Sixers.
As rumors swirl around the league, Sixers team president Sam Hinkie offered his thoughts to reporters on any potential deals:
We are active in conversations with a lot of teams and a lot of agents. Sometimes that leads to transactions and sometimes it doesn't. It will be interesting to see how the next few days play out.
The best players in the NBA, just like the best people in any market, want to work with great people.
While the future for Lin is currently unknown, he would make a great fit for Philadelphia. The guard averaged 12.5 points, 4.1 assists and 2.6 rebounds for the Rockets last year in 28.9 minutes, which would make him a good role player in Philadelphia.
With an already established point guard in Michael Carter-Williams to be the floor general, Lin would be given a chance to play backup at the point. If Carter-Williams is on the court at the same time, either can play as a shooting guard to provide offense.
Lin might not be considered a veteran in the NBA, but he certainly has more experience than the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year. Though it might be beneficial for both sides, Ken Berger of CBS Sports noted that the deal still hasn't happened yet:
Houston's Jeremy Lin trade still has not left the tarmac. Source says deal only goes in motion once Rockets secure free-agent commitment.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 8, 2014
The Rockets are holding out hope for either Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh, but bridges have already been burned with Lin already.
During Anthony's visit to Houston to meet with the franchise, they displayed an image of him in a No. 7 jersey—Lin's number. The 25-year-old responded on Twitter with a Bible verse:
Luke 6:29 - If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them— Jeremy Lin (@JLin7) July 2, 2014
Should the 76ers trade for Lin?
There might not be enough room for Lin in Houston if deals are made, but he still has a chance at success with the Sixers.
The Sixers won't be competing for championships next season, but adding Lin gives them depth on a mostly young lineup. As Carter-Williams continues to lead the team, Lin would be given a shot to be a role player and help the team win games.
A move to the Sixers gives Lin a chance to both work in a new system and find a more established role. He may not end up having a career in Philly, but remaining in Houston might not be the best option either.
No, Lin's not going to turn the franchise around or become a huge free-agent acquisition, but it makes sense. With a crazy offseason already, it's a great situation for a player who needs it.