Jeremy Lin might have already played his final game with the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series with the Portland Trail Blazers. With the Rockets attempting to retool their lineup this summer, Lin and his expiring contract will be the most likely trade chip that the general manager, Daryl Morey, is going to use.
After another up-and-down season, Lin's days with the Rockets are apparently numbered. The Rockets, who fell in six games at the hands of the up-and-coming Trail Blazers, will likely be the most aggressive team to make a move this offseason.
Dwight Howard and James Harden will continue to assume their role as the core of the Rockets team, while head coach Kevin McHale has been confirmed to return for another gig next season.
However, majority of the players on the roster are not safe to any trade negotiations. Third-year forward Chandler Parsons, Terrence Jones, Patrick Beverley, Omer Asik and Lin could potentially be used in a blockbuster deal to make the Rockets' ambition to land another A-list superstar a reality.
In an article on Sportige, it stated that Lin might be better off with the Rockets because of McHale's failure to optimise the Asian-American's star potential and the complexity of the Lin-Harden backcourt tandem.
"It might be in Jeremy Lin's best interest to try and play somewhere else, because he isn't going to be come a starting point guard unless McHale and Morey suddenly realize what they've been doing wrong all this time," according to Sportige.
So which team will Lin really fit well?
The Rockets have been salivating to get point guard Rajon Rondo even before the trade deadline. Morey could use Lin, Asik, Parsons or/and draft picks to sweeten a deal for Rondo, but several analysts believe the Celtics won't let their playmaker walk away unless the All-Star forces a trade.
If that eventually happens, Lin seems to be a better piece for second-year head coach Brad Stevens. Lin's court vision and scoring ability would make the Celtics team a much more efficient offensively, while Asik or Parsons could readily assume a crucial role in the starting lineup.
Another possible trade destination for Lin is the Brooklyn Nets. For a team loaded with veterans, Lin's youth will be a big plus. Of course, playing in a big stage such as New York won't be a problem anymore because of his notoriety as a big-time performer in the Big Apple. The Nets made an inquiry about Lin midway into the season, and that could be re-explored again this summer.