Lakers Acquire Jeremy Lin from Rockets

Darius Soriano —  July 11, 2014

Just as we figured, the LeBron James decision has started a flurry of moves around the league as teams now move on to their own plans. That includes the Lakers who have helped facilitate the Rockets’ pursuit of Chris Bosh by taking Jeremy Lin off their hands. From ESPN:

The Houston Rockets have traded guard Jeremy Lin and a future first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers, a league source told ESPN’s Jeff Goodman.

The Lakers were amenable to this deal, according to sources, because Lin is only under contract for one more season, thus preserving their cap space next summer. They also covet draft picks, after trading away their first-round picks in 2015 and 2017 to Phoenix and Orlando as part of the Steve Nash and Dwight Howard trades, respectively.

If the Lakers are going to miss out on the big name free agents this summer — and with each passing minute that seems increasingly likely — they needed to move on to their Plan B and start to fill out their roster. Acquiring Lin helps in that.

Lin is the exact type of asset the Lakers have said to be pursuing this summer. He’s a good player (we will get into this later with a full analysis) and he is only signed for one more season. This allows the Lakers to preserve their cap space and financial flexibility for next summer when they can again pursue the top free agents on the market.

The sweetner here, however, is the 1st round pick the Lakers will also receive. While the Rockets are likely to be one of the top 5-10 teams next season and deliver a pick in the mid-20’s next June, that pick is much better than the one the Lakers would be slated to have should they finish outside the top 5 selections — which would be no pick at all. Now the Lakers will be armed with a pick that can be used in another trade or used to select another young player who can potentially be part of the team.

Viewing the deal through this dual prism, I am quite happy with what the Lakers have accomplished. When the Lakers talk about “financial flexibility”, this is one of the ways in which they use the term. Having money under the cap isn’t just about signing FA’s, it is about leveraging that space to absorb players and getting additional assets for their trouble. The fact that Lin can actually play, fills a position of need, and has other marketing qualities that will help the Lakers is icing on the cake.

It is about time the Lakers got creative and started to use all the assets at their disposal to improve the team in the short and the long term. Drafting Julius Randle was step one in this process. It remains to be seen what becomes of Lin as a player next year or what the pick they will receive from the Rockets produces, but the hope is that they too become pieces that improve the short and long term trajectory of the team.

Darius Soriano

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62 responses to Lakers Acquire Jeremy Lin from Rockets

  1. We have the worst owner in sports.

  2. I was hoping Capella would be attached as well, but the pick is better than nothing. Good deal for the Lakers, we’re on the 3 year plan.

  3. This is a good deal. We get a solid player whose contract expires at the end of the season (yay cap space). We get first round draft pick. We get extra draft goodies. This helps us a little bit now, and potentially a lot in the future. Smart move.

  4. Is the pick for 2015?

  5. Good move.

    Get an expiring asset that will surely garner tons of media/fan attention in LA, even if Kobe gets hurt. Gives flexibility in 2015 and we even keep Lin’s Bird Rights should we want to keep him or do a S&T in 2015. I like the kid personally.

    For Kobe, it’s a signal that the team is “bigger” than just his desire to win a ring next season. They have to plan this in an astute fashion and not spend money for the sake of it.

  6. As a Rocket fan,I’m hyped.
    As to Jeremy Lin,he never quite fit in Houston.
    When he has confidence,he will get on a roll,when he doesn’t have it,uh-oh.
    Very good on fast break,very good on high pick-n-rolls with a big and surprising burst of speed going to hoop.
    Mediocre defender,often beat off dribble.
    Adequate 3pt shooter.
    Has this extremely bad habit of when he gets cut off in lane,stops,jumps and makes truly atrocious passes.

  7. I for one like the move, who was the last pg employed by the Lakers who was better? Was hoping Houston w/h taken Nash off our hands in the deal, but that didn’t happen.

    Linsanity comes to L. A.

  8. Yea Ryan it is for the 2015 draft.

  9. BigCitySid – The last time we had a better PG was game 1 of the 12/13 season before Nash hurt his leg.

  10. I agree with Darius on this one.

  11. That’s $8M down. How much more cap space do we have to go? $20M?

  12. It’s all about the draft pick here. Lin is decent, but he’s a back up. I’m good with deal because it’s gets them back into the draft. And if the bottom falls out of next season they will have two first rounders.

    At this point it’s all about the future.

  13. @ James, “one game”, good one. Lin looking better all the time. Now can they sign Randle so he can see summer league action…and we can see him?

  14. Trash!!!

  15. Buss is Linsane

  16. Solid move for the reasons Darius cited: Lin for an 8 mil cap hit on an expiring plus 2015 1st round pick, and according to Woj “other draft considerations” makes great sense. Can’t see Kendall Marshall on the squad, and the possibility of a deal for the undersized, one-way Isiah Thomas also seems unlikely. These would be happy outcomes.

    Go to and read the “coach’s comments” on the summer league roster players. If there is anything to be gleaned from them, read the comment on Jordan Clarkson. Probably the most positive one as he is projected to be a solid player in the league. Second round steal.

    PG position: Lin, Clarkson, FA DeAndre Kane (also good comments on him from Laker coach).

    Lakers reaffirm their trans-Pacific fan surpremacy with Lin and Clarkson!

  17. This move is good. However – wow – when I read about this deal, my first thought was: The Lakers are now on the other end of a salary dump, so a contender can make space for a potential star. We really are in the wrong universe.

  18. I know I sound salty as hell but Dan Gilbert complaining about the CP3 trade, then getting 3 #1 overall picks, James and maybe Love is making me want to vomit.

  19. Bryan S: “coach’s comments” Now that is funny.
    T. Rogers: “At this point it’s all about the future.” Indeed. However how far into the future?
    I love the posts that say “we will be fine” or “don’t panic” or “quit whining” It is all about perspective. If you are used to a title every 4th year and a trip to the Finals every other year like I am, then going into year 5 outside the finals with no end in sight, is a big deal. If you think that a decade or two with no trips to the Finals is no big deal – then OK “we will be fine”.
    rr: DH walked last year, we did not get the FA this year, we are accepting salary dumps to “fill” our roster, and part of the fanbase (including me and evidently you) are perfectly fine with it). The Lakers have truly stopped being _________.

  20. Patrick Lanigan July 11, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    This may be the most expensive backcourt in NBA history. $25 million for two point guards, and another $24 for an old shooting guard. As bad as Kobe’s extension was, the Nash deal will probably go down as one of the worst moves in Laker history–if only for the loss of what will turn out to be incredibly valuable draft picks….

  21. miami was careful enough to protect the pick they owe cleveland 1-10.

  22. As a starter in ’12-’13 (lost job to Beverly last season) Lin averaged 13.4 ppg/ 6.1 apg as the 3rd option behind Harden (26ppg) & Parsons (15.5ppg). PER was only 14.9, but he did play all 82 games. Last point guard to have better production for a full season with the Lakers…Nick Van Excel in ’97-’98 at 13.8 ppg/ 6.9 apg/ 17.8 PER.

    I can live w/ Lin.

  23. I don’t understand this trade. 1st why help the rockets propel into western conference favorites. 2nd why take on Jeremy lin’s contract when they could’ve have gone after Isaiah Thomas for much cheaper. They could have tried to throw Nash in that trade as well. The lakers have a strategy to hit a home run. It’s not going to happen that way. Players do not want to go to a clean slate team, even if it’s in la. They want to go to a team with a clear plan, a path forward, and good players.

    It may just be me, but the lakers basketball operations are inept. If it’s not a disgruntled player still in contract forcing his way out, it looks like the lakers can’t really do much. The last star free the lakers signed was shaq. Payton and Malone don’t count because they we old and chasing a ring.

    The lakers need to get the best young talent available and build on that. Jeremy Lin doesn’t accomplish that. But we have to wait and see what’s next and if they do indeed have something up their sleeve however unlikely it may be.

  24. It’s not about Lin…it’s the pick. Picks are increasingly hard to get under the current CBA (remember Pau at the deadline earlier this year). That’s how we get the best young talent available — even if we just trade the pick later.

    Anything Lin does — and he might, in fact, do something — is pure bonus.

  25. Patrick Lanigan July 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Question for Darius or anyone who knows:

    At the end of next season, will Lin’s cap hold be $8.3 million based on his cap hit this year, or will it be $15 million based on what he’s actually paid this season?

  26. I don’t understand why some people think we should have included Nash in the trade with Houston. The whole point for Houston was to do a salary dump to make room for Bosh. Why in the world would they take Nash’s bigger contract ( capwise) in a the trade? Makes no sense.

    I am good with this trade as it keeps our flexibility and we get a draft pick out of it. It was clear we weren’t getting Anthony or Bosh.

    We still have room to sign a tier 2 player this year, and a tier 1 next year and another tier 1 the year after.

  27. Even Kobe’s friend doenst want to play with him…..Shaq/Howard/ and now Melo.One thing is to be a friend….another is to know that Kobe is hard to play with….Reality sucks!!!

  28. And if Bosh, Howard, or Harden goes down, the Rockets go from title contender to possibly dropping to mediocre or even lottery level for that 2015 pick. I don’t wish injury on anyone, but its not unthinkable.

  29. I first thought seriously? Then i remember he is an expiring contract and we got a 1st round pick. Let the whinning begin, good move in my opinion.

  30. Ok I am changing my tune. Lin was 2nd in NBA to James going to bucket and and and

    Are you ready ?

    May mean no more underhand shots from a starting PG!

  31. Jeremy Lin isn’t a scrub. He played REALLY WELL starting that season a couple years ago with Harden, but they’ve been obsessed with playing Patrick Beverly ahead of him. Dare I say it – this almost makes me wish we still had D’antoni as coach, as Lin played unbelievably in D’antoni’s system. Here’s hoping for at least a couple weeks during this upcoming season where #Linsanity erupts again!!

  32. Kobe will have time to get know lin now smh… This deal is terrible.. Bledsoe would have been a better fit. I really don’t understand the logic of preserving cap flexiblity when it’s clear that free agents and superstars would rather play somwhere else…lakers front office is so freaking arrogant. Why not take young players with some upside.

  33. looks like we have 3 PGs now, Steve Nash, Jeremy Lin, and Kendall Marshall.

    Isn’t that a bit too many?

  34. Robert,

    The only time I’m really fine is when Darius is posting information about Lakers Parade Coverage. But I like this move, partly for non-Lin-ear reasons. As Darius says, it could set the team up to do other things, since Lin’s deal and the pick are assets that could be used for other things if opportunities arise. It is fine as a chess move.

    On the floor, Lin is an OK player, likable, fun to watch. And for all the businessy types posting about branding and international marketing, this is a huge boost for the Lakers in that area in some countries. Lin grew up in SoCal and was born in LA, and was mad at the Rockets for the Melo jersey thing, so I would guess that he will be happy to be here. I would like to have a couple of guys on the team who want to be Lakers.

    I know a guy who, like Lin, is an American-born guy with Taiwanese roots, and is a huge Lakers fan, and we are already our planning our trip up to Staples for a game. So Lin has already sold two tickets.

  35. Jimbo just trying to squeeze $$ and cash in on the chinese market thru lin… I thought the objective was to get better defensively, apparently not….

  36. I am doubtful that Melo’s decision is a reflection on Kobe one way or the other now that I’ve read him quoted as saying LBJ asked him to come to Cleveland and Melo said “I never leave the hotel when I’m there.” Melo’s decision obviously isn’t about personality or who’s easier to play with.

    Casual Fan – We need the other two to push Nash’s wheel chair.

  37. Nick Van Exile July 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    “I don’t understand this trade. 1st why help the rockets propel into western conference favorites. 2nd why take on Jeremy lin’s contract when they could’ve have gone after Isaiah Thomas for much cheaper.”
    The Lakers need to worry about improving their team, not other teams. If the Lakers didn’t make the trade, the Rockets could have made the deal with another team, still propelling the Rockets into WC favorites and leaving the Lakers with no Lin + no 2015 first round pick. Based on what other FA guards have been getting, I don’t think Isaiah Thomas will be much cheaper, if at all, than Lin’s $8.4 million cap hit next year. Jodie Meeks got $6.5 million/year and he was nowhere near as productive as Thomas. Jeremy Lin is a guy who can start for the Lakers, has an expiring contract (no long-term obligations), and is a trade asset for future deals (not to mention his appeal to Asian communities both locally and globally). Add in a 2015 first round pick and that is an absolute no-brainer deal for me (the Pelicans gave up a first round pick to take on Asik in a salary dump).

  38. David Aldridge
    Nick Young’s deal to remain in L.A. with the Lakers is $21.5 million over four years, with a fourth year player option.

  39. And expiring contract and a first round pick ( which we didn’t had before)on the next draft. Yeah terrible deal SMH. Btw Lin can play and is better than ANYTHING we had at the point last year. Upgrade with flexibility, thats what im talking about.

  40. If the Aldridge Tweet is accurate, put me down as disagreeing strongly with giving Young a four-year deal. I would guess that it means the Lakers lost out on Stephenson.

  41. Don’t know if this affects Lin:


    Chris Bosh is finalizing an agreement to return to Miami on a five-year, $118M deal, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

  42. With Bosh staying in MIA for max $, does the Lin deal still happen?

  43. Swaggy is back!

  44. Bosh stays with Heat. As per DA also.

  45. RR,

    Three years with a team option on the fourth would have been a lot better deal with Young. The annual salary isn’t bad. But it feels a little like Metta’s deal in that it is at least a year too long.

  46. What about playing Lin at the 2? As in, for the few games when Nash is healthy at least.

    Sure he’d be a bit undersized, but he at least makes an effort on defense, and his relatively slow footspeed is better masked there. Either that or cross cover with Nash guarding the 2.

  47. Oh, nevermind that – guess we have good old Nick at SG now. Lin can just start for us am with Marshall backing him up.

  48. I wonder if the Lin deal is finalized. Because now Houston may want to do something different since it appears they are losing out on Bosh. Credit Cuban for shoveling chestnuts in Houston’s path. The Rockets basically working against the clock now to complete plan B.

  49. Man was that an expensive way for the Rockets to have a shot at chasing Bosh – $43 million.

    They could simply have picked up Parsons’ option instead.

  50. Don’t like the Swaggy deal…but I do love that the Rockets just got screwed twice. They lose Bosh and the clock is ticking on Parsons. What do they do? Melo?

  51. Bringing in Jeremy Lin on a one-year deal + a 1st-round pick in 2015 is actually fairly clever. Lin will have motivation. To begin with, if he wants to stick around for longer than one year, he’ll have to play well. Secondly, if he does not want to incur Kobe’s wrath, he’ll have to play well…every night. Otherwise, he’ll be gone and the Lakers will free up $8.3 Million in cap space for 2015 and still have a 1st-round draft pick to do with as they choose. Not bad.

    Signing Nick Young for 4 years, however, bothers me (the final year is a player’s option). I could have accepted 2, maybe 3 years. But 4 is too long a contract for Swaggy.

    So…this all strikes me as mixed news.

    Have they given up on Lance Stephenson? What about Pau? Is Jordan Hill not on their radar? Do they have a coach yet?

  52. @ fern, last year when we finished with the worst record in franchise history lol. Talk about frame of reference.

  53. If we signed swaggy and took on lin it would look like Pau is out the door through a S&T …..if he goes to new york it would be great to get cleanthony early + hardaway or shumpert

    If he goes to chicago I demand McDermott with Boozers contract and anyone else they want to dump for relief – Id even add in marshall to the deal since he is on a fully unguarenteed deal

  54. Nick Van Exile July 11, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    So the Rockets could wind up with no Bosh/Melo FA signing, no Asik, no Lin, a wash on first round picks (+1 from the Pelicans, -1 to the Lakers), and Parsons at $15 million/year (instead of $3 million). Yikes.

  55. At this point I would love to see them S&T Pau for any sort of future asset. They’re never going to get a better deal than right now, with Bosh gone and Melo sure to follow. I worry that the Swaggy deal is a sign we are going to try to resign Pau and compete for a 7th – 8th seed.

  56. Swaggy P and Jordan Hill are back on the team, not bad,not bad at all, if we can get a sign & trade for Pau and get another 1st round pick, i say we are golden so far.

  57. Lakers sign Hill to 2yr $18M contract.. We could have had Deng for probably couple more $M… Did not see lakers overpaying that much for a shorter deal.

  58. Incessant whining is stupidly futile and creates unhappiness–The Dalai Laker

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  60. Mitch is prob working on shipping Pau to the Bulls for future assets (which likely means we’re getting Boozer in return).

  61. Yep, if we can flip Pau for another pick or asset, and have room to sign another FA, it’s a start at least.

    I’m afraid Jordan Hill’s deal probably pushes Ed Davis out of reach. However, I think I’d rather try two years of Davis rather than a max deal for Monroe — mostly thinking rim defense here.

  62. wanna give my two cents on JLin.

    Bad fit from the get-go in Houston, with harden dominating the ball each and every possession. whenever harden was out, he would break out and dominant the floor and control the game at his pace, pretty much the same way as the time when melo was out in NY during that linsanity stretch…

    good trade by the front office money-wise, now we get a pick along with a solid player. all of a sudden a PG slot if crowded with JLin, Marshall and Clackson… interesting…

    overall i like how we are going young finally, all players aside from kobe and swaggyP are in their mid 20s (or even teens)…