Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey‘s rise to his position is well documented and he’s been known as one of the most active GMs in the NBA. Always looking for that next big super star, the Rockets are typically rumored around some of the biggest names in the game.
Morey wanted LeBron James, the Rockets were rumored in the Carmelo Anthony dealings, and they nearly pulled off a blockbuster trade for Dwight Howard before the Orlando Magic backed out.
So when the Rockets forked over $25.1 million over three years for Jeremy Lin, who had made a name for himself with the New York Knicks, it wasn’t all that surprising.
Many thought the Rockets would build around Lin and let him run the offense, but continue to look for a big name super star for the foreseeable future. When they pulled off a trade for James Harden, it turned the NBA world on its proverbial head. No one saw it coming and it probably took most of the Rockets players by surprise as well.
Namely Lin, who was going to be the one with the ball in his hands. That’s not how Harden works. So far this season, Harden has been the one controlling the offense, and for good reason. Harden is a better all-around offensive player by far and the Rockets have centered their offense around the 23-year old.
It is due to this that the Rockets should now view Lin as expendable. Tony Douglas is more than capable of stepping in and playing back seat to Harden as the ball-handler, and he’s a better defender than Lin. Lin’s skill set requires him to have the ball more, and it’s just not happening. I imagine if the Rockets ever thought they had a prayer of getting a player of Harden’s caliber, they never would have traded Kyle Lowry or let Goran Dragic walk.
Lin is averaging a meager 11.4 points and 6.4 assists while shooting just 36.5 percent from the field and 33 percent from three. He is among the league leaders in steals but he’s not a good face-up defender.
In watching the games, it doesn’t appear Lin is comfortable with his role in the offense. He needs the ball more and it’s not happening with Harden in the lineup.
The Rockets are 3-4, but two of the wins have come against the Detroit Pistons, arguably the worst team in the NBA. If something doesn’t turn around soon Morey should start exploring options. There is no shame in admitting you made a mistake so soon after it happened, especially when something unexpected alters your game plan.