Jeremy Lin takes Linsanity to the land of Showtime.
The Houston Rockets have traded Lin and a future first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for cash considerations, according to ESPN. This will allow the Rockets, who are strapped for free-agent cash, to free themselves of Lin's contract and add money to their free-agent pool. The original intent was to lure Chris Bosh to Houston, and match the offer sheet the Dallas Mavericks made to the Rocket's Chandler Parsons. As recently as this morning, though, it appeared that Bosh was on the verge of resigning to Miami.
For their part, the Lakers acquire a serviceable point guard and gain a first round draft pick. The Lakers traded their 2015 and 2017 first round picks to acquire Steve Nash and Dwight Howard via trades. Since Lin is under contract for only the upcoming year, the Lakers help to preserve their salary cap space for the 2015-2016 NBA season.
According to Lin's agent, Robert Montgomery, the Lakers had been coveting Lin for a while now. "They had interest a few years ago when he (Lin) was in the summer league and signed with Golden State," Montgomery said, "The Lakers were one of three teams that we were talking with, so they did have interest then. If you've been following the NBA, you know it's a very fluid league, so Jeremy is still playing, he's played well throughout his tenure thus far and I think that the Lakers, just like a lot of other teams, have interest and have had interest."
According to the USA Today, Lin is expected to make $15 million next year, but only $8 million would have gone to the Rockets' salary cap. The Rockets decided to move Lin to free up the money to pursue free agents. However, Bosh has signed back with Miami, but Houston may still pursue other free agents. Still, the Rockets have until Sunday to match the offer sheet on Parsons (3 years, $46 million) to retain his rights.
This will also open up the Rockets' offense now that Lin will not be competing with James Harden for the ball. The Lakers get a point guard who can take some of the scoring pressure off of the Lakers' Kobe Bryant. Also, the Lakers get one of the youngest, most popular players currently in the NBA. Lin shot to fame during the second half of the 2011-2012 season, taking an injury-depleted New York Knicks team to a memorable seven-game win streak, scoring 24.4 points a game, spawning "Linsanity."