Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin has been on the trading block ever since he landed in Texas. This year, trade rumors are all over the former Harvard standout, despite putting up a decent performance as the team's main scoring weapon off the bench. Lin survived the trade deadline this year. Next season? Perhaps he won't any longer. Where is his next Destination? Mike D'Antoni's Los Angeles Lakers.
After starting as the team's primarily playmaker last season, the 25-year old Lin has to concede the role to Patrick Beverley. The move from starter to a bench player resulted to an up-and-down output from Lin throughout the season, but it nevertheless affected his statistical line as he averaged 12.4 points and 4.2 per game.
On Sunday, Lin exploded for 26 points to help the red-hot Rockets beat the Portland Trail Blazers in what could be a Western Conference semis preview. Prior to this performance, Lin had a series of rough shooting nights after going below 30 percent over the last six games.
Looking Forward to the Future
Most NBA analysts believed that the Rockets will eventually find a way to trade Lin and his $15 million paycheck in the offseason. In a team that aspires nothing but a championship, the Rockets would be looking for an upgrade both in their bench and at the point guard spot, and there's no better time to hammer the deal than this summer, when big time free-agents are soon to hit the market.
In short, Lin will no longer wear Rockets jersey. Fortunately for him, there are three ideal spots for him to rebuild his career. There are the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors.
The Celtics, who coveted Omer Asik a lot, could finally pull off a deal for the bigman along with the expiring contract of Lin - a former Harvard student. The Raptors, on the other hand, might get a run at Lin with Kyle Lowry becoming a free-agent soon. But the best place Lin would thrive is the Lakers under the tutelage of his former mentor Mike D'Antoni. Lin's up-tempo and scoring ability would fit the coach's run-and-gun system, making the Lakers a much more explosive team on the offensive end.
A hypothetical trade scenario would be The Lakers could package Jordan Farmar, Xavier Henry and Jordan Hill to the Rockets for Lin. The Rockets needs more frontline depth and they can get it from Hill, while adding able playmakers in Farmar and Henry. Of course, D'Antoni will finally get a point guard that can run plays and score the basketball when needed. Win-win trade scenario indeed.