The Los Angeles Lakers will have a literal changing of the guard this upcoming season as Kobe Bryant and the aging Steve Nash take a back seat, and newcomer Jeremy Lin is set to take on a big role.
The Lakers acquired Lin from the Houston Rockets this offseason with the goal of working him into the point guard rotation, but now sources close to the team indicate that Lin will actually see the bulk of minutes at the position. The veteran Nash has become a big question mark with his string of injuries, leaving Lin to take on the role of Kobe Bryant’s main backcourt partner.
“I think Lin will play well beside Kobe and actually think he should play the bulk of the minutes especially in the early going as they determine what Jeremy] Clarkson’s eventual role may be,” said Jabari Davis.
Fansided had reported earlier this offseason that Jeremy Lin would be moving into a starting role on opening night, a bit of a surprise given how he was cast aside in Houston.
Lin will be a free agent at the end of the season, and many believe the Los Angeles Lakers want to see if he can handle the pressure of point guard on his own. This leads many to view this season as something of an intensive, one-year tryout for Lin, who could then take on an even bigger role with the franchise with Kobe Bryant’s impending retirement.
Kobe himself will be seeing his own minutes decrease this year. Los Angeles Lakers coach Byron Scott said the team will be keeping Bryant off the court as much as possible earlier in the year to conserve him for a possible playoff run.
“We know how hard he works, we know how driven he is,” Scott told KPCC. “But I think he’s at the point too where he’s so much more mature, and he understands that he only has a few more miles left on that body, you know, maybe two, maybe three years. And I think he’s probably more acceptable to accept the fact that you can’t practice every day. There might be some games where you can’t play this game or that game. But that’s all to be determined.”
That means Los Angeles Lakers fans should get used to seeing Jeremy Lin, and a lot of him.
Photo via Nike]