Jeremy Lin's tenure days with the Houston Rockets are now starting to tick away since the free-agency period began on July 1.
But Wednesday's scenery outside the Toyota Centre further convinced everybody that Lin is a goner in Texas, as the Rockets put up a giant poster that showed Carmelo Anthony wearing the team's no.7 uniform - the current number of the Asian American star.
The 25-year old Lin has been linked to several trade rumors these past several months, mainly because of the Rockets' ambition to enlist another superstar to play alongside All-Star shooting guard James Harden and center Dwight Howard.
With Lin's $15 million paycheck ($8 million hit against the cap space) going to kick in this coming 2014-15 season, general manager Daryl Morey is widely expected to move the former Harvard hot shot, so he can clear enough space to accommodate a max contract.
The Rockets appeared very much determined to make their plan into reality, after already pulling off two major transactions: trading Omer Asik to New Orleans Pelicans and letting Chandler Parsons become a restricted free-agent.
These moves certainly gave the Rockets more financial leverage to sign a max player such as Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Bosh or even Dwyane Wade. However, the team is aware they still have to get Lin's contract off the books.
"The deal hinges upon whether the Rockets can acquire one of their two primary free agency targets: Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James. If they receive an agreement in principle to add one of those two, a deal involving Jeremy Lin is already securely in place in order to free up cap space," Howard Beck posted on his Twitter account via Roto World.
Lin Suddenly is Unwanted in Houston
Boosted by his remarkable play during his time with the New York Knicks, Lin headed into the summer of 2012 as one of the most coveted free-agents. The Rockets, who waived Lin on the final day before the 2011-2012 season, did everything to sign the hottest commodity in the NBA that time.
The Knicks, meanwhile, attempted to retain the service of their 'Cash Cow' but Morey's brilliance in working out nifty deals knocked out New York's chances of having Lin back with a poison-pill (back-loaded) deal.
Roughly three years later, Lin is a forgotten man in Houston. Despite putting up career-high numbers as a sixth man, he seems to be another bump in the road for the Rockets. On Wednesday, the Rockets made perhaps strongest statement in their pitch to Melo: He won't be playing with Linsanity.
Here's Lin's response to Melo Rocket poster:
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
Jeremy Lin's 2013-14 Highlights
(NBA/Youtube) For more Jeremy Lin news and NBA updates, read more at IBT Sports.