On Saturday, a report from ESPN came out that the 76ers were open to trading for Jeremy Lin. That sentence by itself is extremely misleading, especially for people that won’t look any deeper into the surface. Jeremy Lin is a decent player and comes with a great story and could sell some tickets, but that’s not why the 76ers want Jeremy Lin.
If the 76ers were to engage in serious negotiations with the Rockets, it would be to bring a pick back to Philadelphia with Jeremy Lin. Now, Lin averaged 12.5 points per game on 45 percent shooting last season, so he’s a competent player. However, he’s due to make $8,374,646 next season in the last year of his contract.
According to shamsports.com, the 76ers have $31,278,878 in cap room to spend this offseason. That number will shrink a small amount when rookies are signed to deals, but the 76ers will still have an abundance of cap space left to play with. This is where the Houston Rockets and Jeremy Lin come into play. Daryl Morey — GM of the Houston Rockets — is making a play for Carmelo Anthony, or some max-contract superstar this offseason. In order to have room for this superstar, Lin’s $8 million needs to be taken off the books. However, the Rockets don’t want to take any contracts back.
The 76ers are one of the unique teams in the NBA that have the ability to absorb Lin’s large contract without sending anything back. Of course, for taking on Lin, the 76ers want compensation. Philadelphia isn’t going to take on $8 million without getting something in return. The return would have to be at least a first-round pick, if not multiple picks from Houston for taking on Lin’s deal.
For that reason, the 76ers would welcome Jeremy Lin with opening arms, if the return is sufficient enough. Not to mention, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie worked alongside Rockets GM Daryl Morey in Houston before he came to Philadelphia.
Don’t get it twisted, Jeremy Lin wouldn’t take any minutes away from Michael Carter-Williams. There isn’t going to be a move to the bench for MCW if Lin is brought in, it’s quite the opposite. Jeremy Lin could play alongside MCW at the shooting guard position, or come off the bench. Who really cares? As long as he brings some picks along with him, it doesn’t matter. He’ll spend a season with the 76ers and then be off to his next NBA adventure.
So, if this trade goes down, just smile. Trust in Sam Hinkie and put a smile on your face as the assets begin to pile up, once again.