Should The Lakers Re-sign Jeremy Lin?


The Los Angeles Lakers traded for Jeremy Lin along with a first and second-round pick in exchange for the rights to Sergei Lishouk. Lin was initially thought to be simply an expiring contract the Lakers could be rid of this summer, though his surprising success, especially as of late might have the Lakers reconsidering their short-term investment in him. Despite the emergence of rookie point-guard Jordan Clarkson, the Lakers could due to have Lin on the roster, especially if the shooting guard position is as thin next season, as it has been through most of this season with Kobe Bryant out for the season, and Nick Young being in-and-out of the rotation with coach’s decisions and injuries.

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Jeremy Lin could serve as a reliable back-up to Clarkson as he continues to develop next season, or an off-the-ball scorer should Bryant be the lone serviceable shooting guard on the depth chart. It is generally agreed upon that, no matter where Lin plays next season, he won’t be paid anywhere near his salary of this season. Making around $15 million just this season, there’s no disputing the fact that he’s simply not worth that kind of a price tag. Rather, Lin will likely be looking at a shorter-term deal in the one or two year range, along with a significant pay-cut. If Lin is looking to sign a deal of any higher worth, the Lakers, and anyone else should be wary.

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  • Despite the solid season Lin is having, teams should have reservations about locking him up long-term. With the New York Knicks in the 2011-12 season, Lin essentially resurrected his team’s season in the absence of Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemirebut when they returned to action his numbers fell off significantly. The story was similar in Houston: while he played decently alongside James Harden, Lin truly shined when he was the focal point of the back-court when Harden missed games due to injury. This season has been yet another example of that, as Lin has only taken off when Kobe Bryant, along with a plethora of other players have been out of the lineup. While this has shown his upside, no team wants to build an offense around Jeremy Lin, not even the Lakers.

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    With all of this in mind, Lin may be destined to the life of a journeyman who plays well on one year contracts, but never plays for a team for more than a season or two. This is not a bad thing, as many quality players live off of short-term contracts, one example being point guard Ramon Sessions. If the Lakers can get Lin on a one-year deal this summer, they should absolutely do it. This will provide flexibility as well as a quality player to bring off of the bench, or start in a pinch should the injury bug strike again.

    Will Jeremy Lin’s destination alter the course for the Lakers? No, but re-signing him may be to the Lakers’ advantage, even if he only suits up in purple and gold for a short while beyond this season. Whether it’s as a trading chip, a bench-warming mentor, or a contributing rotation member, Jeremy Lin should at least begin next season as a Los Angeles Laker.