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NBA Trade Rumors: Jeremy Lin’s Future in LA Lakers In Doubt Thanks To Free Agency

( [email protected] ) May 06, 2015 06:45 PM EDT
Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin is carefully weighing out the next step in his NBA career, now that he will become a free agent at the end of this season. However, some have speculated that his future in the NBA may be outside of Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Jeremy Lin (17) drives to the basket as Charlotte Hornets guard Gary Neal (12) gives chase. Reuters

Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin is carefully weighing out the next step in his NBA career, now that he will become a free agent at the end of this season. However, some have speculated that his future in the NBA may be outside of Los Angeles.

Jackson Sanders of Hoops Habit contended that Lin won't return to the Lakers next season. Even though it could have been a great season for him, he was forced to the bench behind Ronnie Price and Jordan Clarkson, despite the fact both Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash went down with sports injuries.

"His numbers weren't down all that much, but the reason why he was considered a letdown was truly out of his hands," Sanders wrote. "Expectation is the root of all disappointment, and Jeremy Lin's were simply too high for who he is: a solid role player."

Sanders outlined five reasons why he thought Lin won't return to Los Angeles next season. He first looked at how Lin served as "a useful piece in a broken offense."

"Jeremy Lin is at his best when he can attack the basket. He shot 55.6 percent in the restricted area and 39.7 percent inside the paint in 2014-15," Sanders wrote. "Compare that to his 33.2 percent clip from midrange last season, along with the fact that 28.4 percent of his attempted field goals came from midrange, and it starts to make sense why he simply may not have fit in the Lakers' offensive philosophy."

The next reason cited by Sanders was Lin's relationship with coach Byron Scott. Even though the professional relationship has improved somewhat, Sanders speculated that the "lapses in communication and strange criticism" have affected Lin for the worse.

"There are a number of other issues, ranging from clock management disagreements to bickering via the media on Lin's inconsistency," Sanders wrote. "The two never seemed to agree on the player's struggles, and it was clear that there were difficulties in how they understood each other."

According to Sanders, Lin was at "the wrong place at the wrong time" during his stint with the Lakers. Even though the point guard wants to be a starter in the NBA, Sanders thought that the teams viewed him as "a role player off the bench."

"Going into the free agent marketplace, he should be valued as a key role player," Sanders wrote. "At the same time Lin hits free agency, the Los Angeles Lakers will be in the market for superstars, All-Stars and starters."

Sanders contended that Lin's skills would be more valuable on a different NBA team. The teams he thought would accept Lin included the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Washington Wizards.

"The fact that Jeremy Lin can be an impact bench player for a playoff team gives him more value elsewhere than on the Lakers," Sanders wrote. "Even with a wildly successful rebuild this summer, the team is likely to be a fringe playoff team at best."

Finally, Sanders thought that if Lin decides to go to a different NBA team, he may be able to escape some of the media hype and expectations surrounding him.

"Playing the two biggest television markets in the country (New York, Los Angeles) nearly guarantees that stories like this continually get brought up, reworked nearly every season," Sanders wrote. "Going elsewhere would allow him a slight reprieve from the constant 'Linsanity' talk from major media outlets."

Despite the intense scrutiny on him, Sanders noted that Lin was "an immensely popular player," adding that the NBA considered him "one of the most marketable players in China."

"Not bad for a kid who was undrafted and has only started 170 games in the league," Sanders wrote.

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