Jeremy Lin always has to prove his ability to take over the reins of the point guard duties in every team he joins.
We all know the Linsanity saga in New York that revived a season that was all for lost. After all the marketing revenues he generated, the Knicks did not match a back loaded salary offer from the Houston Rockets that ended his fruitful year in the Big Apple. He got the starting nod in 2012 only to be bumped off the next year by Patrick Beverly. Now that he is traded to the Los Angeles Lakers and is looking to take over the starting point guard slot, rumours of the Lakers looking to add a different point guard in 2015, makes Lin, sort of, a one year rental.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, the Lakers are one of the teams that will make a hard push to acquire either Goran Dragic or Eric Bledsoe of the Phoenix Suns next year. Dragic is scheduled to become a free agent that summer while Bledsoe is in a complicated contract negotiation with the Suns' management.
Up until now, Bledsoe remains unsigned to a contract extension by his mother team and he has until Oct.1 to annex his name to the qualifying offer. The Suns have already offered a four year, $48 million extension but the fiery and diminutive point guard is seeking a maximum extension possibly north of $85 million. If he chooses to sign the qualifying offer, both sides will be at risk. Phoenix might not get any compensation back in 2015 when Bledsoe flees in free agency and the other tandem of the Slash Brothers will be also betting his health a year after undergoing knee surgery.
The Lakers will be loaded in cap space next summer and could target new franchise players as Kobe Bryant goes into the final legs of his career. The Lakers were also mentioned as possible destination of potential free agents in 2016 such as Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies.
In the meantime, the team will try to work out a revamped roster full of an assortment of players with different roles. Newly minted coach Byron Scott will have his hands full managing of the return of Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash from a year-long absence and the integration of new players such as rookie Julius Randle, Carlos Boozer and Ed Davis. This will not be a tanking season for the Lakers as Bryant is determined to push his squad into the playoffs no matter what the cost.
The Slash Brothers, Bledsoe and Dragic, may do wonders to do that trick but still, they are a year away.