All signs are pointing to Jeremy Lin being on his way out of Houston this summer, and it seems like the Philadelphia 76ers may represent the most likely destination for the high-scoring point guard.
ESPN’s Marc Stein is reporting that the two teams have engaged in trade talks surrounding the point guard, with the Sixers willing to bring him in for the right price. Lin is owed a ton of money next season ($15 million), although because of the structure of his “poison pill” contract it will only count for $8.4 million against the salary cap. According to Hoops Hype, the Sixers have just under $26 million in salary committed to players next season (not including rookies), meaning a number like Lin’s would be valuable just so they can hit the salary floor (just over $52 million last year).
The Rockets would love to make this deal as, coupled with their already-agreed upon trade of Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans, it would free up enough cap space for them to sign a big-name free agent such as Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh. Stein says that Houston may need to sweeten the deal with a first round pick in order to get Lin off their books, but would be willing to make that sacrifice if it means netting a top-tier free agent to go with Dwight Howard and James Harden.
While the Sixers already have a point guard in reigning Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams, Lin would give them another reliable scorer either to pair with MCW or use as a weapon off the bench. While he has never been able to replicate his Linsanity-level production, Lin has become a solid rotation player who can get you points both at the rim and away from the hoop.
Stein says that the Milwaukee Bucks also may be in the mix for Lin, with a similar requirement that they would require multiple assets in the way of draft picks in order to take him on. Playing for new Bucks coach Jason Kidd might be good for Lin’s development, as the future Hall of Famer could serve as a positive mentor for the occasionally erratic point guard.
The Rockets have said that they only want to make this deal if they know that they’ll be getting Anthony or Bosh instead, so it remains to be seen whether Lin actually is moved. If the Rockets get their man, though, they’ll have to give up a lot of future assets to make it all work.
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