According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers have held preliminary trade talks revolving around Jeremy Lin.
Sources say Houston Rockets trying to trade Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers. Report now on @SportsCenter
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2014
The Lakers only have four players under contract for next season and have approximately $22M in cap space right now. The Rockets, who are nearing a 4-year, $88M deal with Chris Bosh, need to clear cap space in order to bring in Bosh and match the Dallas Mavericks offer sheet to Chandler Parsons. In order for the Rockets to bring in Bosh and bring back Parsons they have to do a couple of things in a very precise order.
First, they have to trade away Omer Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans. The deal was completed a week ago, but still needs to be approved by the NBA League office. Once that is done the Rockets will need to trade away Jeremy Lin, who will make $15M this season, though he will only account for $8.2M worth of cap space. When both of those trades are completed, the Rockets have to sign Chris Bosh and then match Chandler Parsons 3-year, $45M deal with the Mavericks. If they complete those tasks in any other order they won’t be able to structure all the deals under the CBA.
The Lakers are interested in Lin, but they’re more interested in the package the Rockets would send back to Los Angeles for acquiring Lin. Essentially the Lakers would be doing the Rockets a favor by taking Lin off their hands. In return for this “favor”, the Lakers would require compensation, most likely in the form of a first round pick.
Lakers would make sense as destination with cap space to take on Jeremy Lin’s expiring contract & without cutting into any of 2015 cap space — Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 11, 2014
It was rumored that the Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers had a deal in place for Lin; however, it looks like that deal has fallen through. The Lakers are now in the unique position to acquire a rotation player while also receiving a first round pick for their “services”.
The deal between the 76ers and the Rockets would have sent Lin, a first round pick, and another asset to Philadelphia in return for essentially nothing. If the Lakers are getting that sort of sweetheart deal from Houston they should absolutely acquire him, assuming his contract doesn’t eat up cap space the Lakers would otherwise use on key free agents such as Isaiah Thomas or Lance Stephenson.