After years of disappointments and frustrations, the Brooklyn Nets are slowly finding their way back into prominence. After trading Timofey Mozgov to the Charlotte Hornets for the expiring contract of Dwight Howard, the Nets are expected to create salary cap space to sign two maximum-salaried players in the 2019 NBA free agency. They are also planning to make roster moves to address other issues on the team, including the logjam at their backcourt.
The Nets will be heading into the 2018-19 NBA season with three point guards — Jeremy Lin, D’Angelo Russell, and Spencer Dinwiddie. Russell and Dinwiddie, who have much cheaper contracts than Lin, have proven last season that they should be part of the Nets’ long-term plan, making the Asian-American guard the odd man out in Brooklyn. According to Brian Lewis of New York Post, the Nets may consider moving Lin this offseason.
“Multiple league sources told The Post they had heard Lin could be dealt this offseason. Orlando is a logical landing spot. Lin played under Magic coach Steve Clifford during their time together in Charlotte. And ESPN posited a move to Phoenix even before the Suns cut Tyler Ulis. It’s unclear whether moving Lin’s $12.5 million expiring deal is less urgent now that Randle is off the market. Lin would be more valuable once he starts playing. He hasn’t played since rupturing his patella tendon on opening night last season.”
The acquisition of Jeremy Lin in 2016 was expected to make the Nets an exciting basketball team again. Most people believed his reunion with Nets Head Coach Kenny Atkinson would give birth to “Linsanity” in Brooklyn. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as expected as Lin spent his first two seasons with the Nets dealing with injuries.
Trading Lin makes sense for the Nets as it will enable D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie to have more playing time next season. Also, sending him to a team who is currently in dire need of a backcourt boost could give them a future draft pick in return. As Lewis noted, the Orlando is a “logical landing spot” for Lin.
The Magic recently hired Steve Clifford as their new head coach. Clifford and Jeremy Lin worked together in the Charlotte Hornets for one year where the Asian-American guard showed an impressive performance serving as the primary backup for Kemba Walker. Clifford could give Lin the same role in Orlando, especially when they succeed to acquire Isaiah Thomas in the free agency market.