The Los Angeles Lakers recently traded for Jeremy Lin, helping the Houston Rockets clear cap space in their pursuit of another superstar free agent. The move added another ball-dominant guard to the team, who will be paid a large sum of money in the upcoming season. It also netted the Lakers a future draft pick, one that might be in the later part of the draft. But the organization made the right choice, as they needed to take advantage of their extra cap space and add future assets.
Lin might not seem like a great fit next to Kobe Bryant, as both players work best when they are handling the ball. Lin struggled at times playing next to James Harden, as he is more comfortable being the playmaker. He also is a below-average defender, a weakness of the team for many years. However, he gives the Lakers a young, change of pace point guard who can add excitement to the team. Offensively, he is very talented, with good ball-handling skills and a decent outside shot. He can create for his teammates, and will work hard to fit in with Bryant.
The real positive of the deal is from an organizational view point. The Lakers might lose their first-round draft pick next season if it falls outside of the top five, and they have few assets to work with. Getting a pick was extremely important, especially when it was apparent that they were going to lose out on the top free agents. The organization needed to be smart with their extra cap space, especially with so many teams trying to clear out expiring contracts. They got a very popular player in return, one who has a large following of fans, which will only help the franchise. His contract also expires after the season, allowing the Lakers to keep their financial flexibility for next season.
While adding a player like Lin may not seem like a great deal at first glance, it was actually a deal that made a lot of sense. The team gets an exciting young player for one season, as well as a much-needed draft pick. The Lakers may not have made a headline offseason signing, but they did make a positive move by trading for Lin and future assets.