The Jeremy Lin Trade Postmortem Grades
LINSANITY seems like years ago, but was only months ago. In a very short time “we” discovered Jeremy Lin, a Harvard educated-Christian card carrying Asian American point guard, who just happened to be leading the New York Knicks. There were many story lines, but the underlying factor was “where did he come from” and “why hasn’t he been playing all along?” For a few short weeks, Lin was the present and future for the New York Knicks. Since, a lot has changed.
The unknown fast breaking guard was quickly the focal point of defenses, slowing production and increasing turnovers, and then Lin got injured. Late season resurgence by Carmelo Anthony reasserted that the Knicks were in fact HIS team, and no skinny kid from Harvard was going to take that away from him. In the offseason Lin, a restricted free agent, received a three-year 25 million offer from the Houston Rockets. The Knicks didn’t match, instead signing veteran Jason Kidd and Raymond Felton to man the one spot. A look back at how the Knicks, Rockets, and Lin have fared since LINSANITY left New York for Texas.
NEW YORK KNICKS
James Dolan was killed by the media and fans for letting Lin walk. Then he signed Raymond Felton for the money that could have been spent on Jeremy, and then he brought in weathered veteran Jason Kidd. At the time it appeared Dolan had allowed personal feelings (how dare Lin sign an offer sheet with the Rockets) get in the way of good basketball business.
Through sixteen games Jeremy Lin is averaging 10.9 points with 26% 3 point field goal percentage, Felton is averaging 15.1 a game with a 41% percentage from beyond the arc. Felton has gelled with Anthony and the Knicks are off to one of the best starts in the league, and one of the best in their franchise history.
No Jeremy Lin distractions. No power struggles. Strong leadership from the point guard position.
It looks like James Dolan message to the fans was “FUCK YOU”, but not in the way initially interpreted.
My assumption is that the Rockets knew they were not getting a 30ppg average and winning clutch performances each and every night when they signed Lin. When Jeremy played for New York, the team was in disarray; Lin was allowed to push the ball as if he was on a playground. It was inevitable that his numbers would come down.
Lin’s full line (through sixteen games): 10.9 points per game, 4.4 rebounds per game, 6.6 assists per game, and 2.9 turnovers is promising. If Jeremy Lin is going to have a career that spans several years in the NBA he will need to show balance at the point guard position. Houston added several new pieces this off-season and it will take time to gel. Is Jeremy Lin their point guard of the future? It looks like he could be and that would make their investment worthwhile.
GRADE (with assumptions): B-
GRADE (if assumption was 30ppg and Mr. Clutch): D-
In less than a month Jeremy Lin was (metaphorically) handed the keys to New York City. Lin was the biggest story in sports and the city. Everyone was watching and Lin delivered with flash and clutch performance night after night. In hindsight I think we all knew he was riding a hot streak and that his true role was somewhere between back-up point guard and LINSANITY, but it was fun and we all went along for the ride.
From purely a basketball development standpoint, Houston is a great place for Jeremy Lin to be. Despite the Knicks fast start I still do not consider them stable, and could (and I predict, will) combust before the season is over. The Rockets are building from the ground up and that is a great place to be – learn the ropes, your role, and grow with the team. Of course, moving from New York and the benefits of being a major celebrity to Texas, well, that’s not a great move…
GRADE (from a basketball standpoint): B+
GRADE (from a culture and high-end escort availability standpoint): F
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