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LA Lakers Trade Rumors: Jeremy Lin Still Targeted for Trading for His Lack of Toughness

( [email protected] ) Jan 21, 2015 04:32 PM EST
Despite the fact that Jeremy Lin has both the prowess and capability to perform on the basketball court, the Los Angeles Lakers still may consider putting up his name for trading because coach Byron Scott thought his game strategy was "soft."
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeremy Lin (17) drives to the basket as Charlotte Hornets guard Gary Neal (12) gives chase. Reuters

Despite the fact that Jeremy Lin has both the prowess and capability to perform on the basketball court, the Los Angeles Lakers still may consider putting up his name for trading.

According to Claire Taylor of CrossMap, the Lakers haven't given him enough playing time, even though the point guard has been quite efficient with his gameplay.

"It's clear to see what the Lakers found in him from the beginning, an efficient point guard," Taylor wrote. "He hits close to 50 percent of the shots he take, 47 percent of which come from behind the three-point arc this season. Not to mention that he leads the team with the number of assists per game."

However, Lakers coach Byron Scott drew a comparison between Lin and starter Ronnie Price about their toughness, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

"I'm pretty much one of those guys that believes that you're either tough or you aren't," Scott said Friday. "I don't think it's something that you can inherit all of a sudden. You are what you are."

Scott emphasized to the Los Angeles Times that Lin was not "soft or anything like that," but did contend that Ronnie Price was "a tough kid."

"He's always been that way," Scott said in regards to Price. "I don't think you can make Ronnie anything other than what he is. And I think the same with Jeremy."

In his defense, Lin elaborated on how his game strategy worked on the court to Bresnahan.

"Each person has their own opinion. Whatever he said is how he feels," Lin said of Scott. "I have my way of playing. I don't think I play soft. I think I do everything I can [defensively], make it as tough for everybody as I can, try to be a hassle on both ends of the floor, try to interrupt."

Unfortunately for Lin, the rest of the Lakers team appeared to be in step with Scott's assessment. According to Taylor, the answer to why Lin is not getting more minutes on the court could be pretty simple.

"The Lakers are planning to put Lin on the front of the trade block as they pursue rebuilding their roster post-Kobe Bryant," Taylor wrote. "Rumors have been swirling unabated since the beginning of the NBA Season 2014-15 that the Los Angeles Lakers are looking to trade Lin before it ends, but these decisions will still rely on whether or not they opt to shut down their superstar, Bryant, at some point this season."

NBA veteran Kobe Bryant expressed a little hesitation on the idea of Scott benching him for next season, even though he agreed with it.

"I will do what they ask of me, but it's very, very hard for me to miss one game," Bryant said. "I'm not going to be here much longer, so the games that I play, I want to make sure that I'm playing and enjoying it and appreciating it."

As for Lin, Anthony Irwin of Rant Sports reported that the Lakers are having difficulties assessing his value to the team. Irwin argued that Lin has been unable to "separate himself for a larger role," despite the fact his story was "worthy of a Disney movie."

"Yes, part of that falls on Byron Scott's questionable-at-best, downright terrible-at-worst coaching strategies, but it's hard to argue that he's far and away the best point guard on this team," Irwin wrote.

Irwin added that Lin's production on the court was "pretty average." He elaborated on the reasons why Lin has faced scrutiny, which has included trading rumors by the Lakers.

"He ranks 32nd among point guards in ESPN's Player Efficiency Rating, meaning he doesn't produce well enough to start," Irwin wrote in regards to Lin. "He's also pretty limited defensively. Given how deep his position is today (widely considered the best it's ever been), his numbers are extremely replaceable."

Irwin also argued that the "Linsanity" movement that powered Lin into NBA superstar status will be unable to help him, regardless of what the fans think.

"Measuring Lin's value is made complicated because his career has been defined by such radical peaks and valleys," Irwin concluded. "The height of his career was incredible, but the depths to which he's fallen might be tough to overcome."

Despite the rumors swirling around a potential Lin trade, Scott had a diplomatic answer for the Los Angeles Times on what the point guard could work on this season.

"I don't think he's been great. I don't think he's been terrible either," Scott said. "He's had his moments, but he still has to continue to get to that point where he is playing much more consistent basketball. And that's on both ends of the floor."

Tags : Jeremy Lin, Linsanity, Linsanity Hype, NBA trade rumors, NBA, Los Angeles Lakers, Lakers, Los Angeles, Byron Scott, Kobe Bryant, Ronnie Price, NBA trade, Jeremy Lin trade