You’ve probably heard about Carmelo Anthony’s trip to Southeast Texas to visit with the Houston Rockets, especially since the team plastered his picture in their uniform all over the place. The kicker from those pictures is the fact Melo was wearing Jeremy Lin’s No. 7, and that’s no coincidence: the Rockets are reportedly trying to trade Lin to the Philadelphia 76ers.
— Robert Littal (@BlkSportsOnline) July 2, 2014
Hearing that Rockets & Sixers are in fluid trade talks surrounding Jeremy Lin. HOU waiting to unload Lin’s deal if it signs Melo or Lebron.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 2, 2014
Lin is entering the final season of his three-year deal with the Rockets, but the backloaded nature of the contract has Houston in a bind. Lin earned just over $10 million in his first two seasons, but is due almost $15 million in 2014-15 alone. That’s a problem for the Rockets, who are preparing to offer max contracts to Melo and LeBron James in hopes that one will sign with Houston.
The 76ers are one of only seven teams that can offer the max salary to a free agent in 2014-15 and they would obviously be willing to do that if LeBron or Melo showed interest in the City of Brotherly Love. However, their two first-round picks from the 2014 NBA Draft are unlikely to play this year, so Philly could be looking at another miserable season that concludes with accusations of tanking.
Thus, taking on an expiring contract like Lin’s makes sense for a Sixers team that will again be in the market to land a star next offseason, especially after adding players through the draft who they’re hoping will pan out down the road.
For the Rockets, freeing up all the cap space currently being hogged by Lin’s ridiculous deal would be huge in their pursuit of a superstar like James or Anthony. If the Rockets feel they have a legitimate shot at signing either of those players, you better believe they’ll pull the trigger and ship Lin to Philly, even if it’s for virtually nothing in return.