The Los Angeles Lakers acquired guard Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets today. The Lakers are sending rights to a player currently playing overseas and cash to the Rockets in return for Lin, the Rockets 2015 first round draft pick and additional draft considerations, as reported by Yahoo Sports.
This is not the first time that the Lakers have attempted to acquire Lin. In 2010, Lin went undrafted out of Harvard and played well in the summer league for the Dallas Mavericks squad. He raised quite a few eyebrows in a game that matched him up with number 1 overall pick, John Wall who was playing for the Washington Wizards summer league team.
The Lakers pursued Lin as an unsigned rookie free agent, but Lin opted to sign for his hometown team, the Golden State Warriors.
Having to play behind Steph Curry and Monte Ellis, Lin never got a shot to impress like he did in summer league play and spent most of his time going back and forth from the D-League to the NBA. Prior to the start of the following season, the Warriors waived Lin. At that time, the Lakers put in a claim on Lin but the Houston Rockets, who were higher on the priority list, picked him up off waivers.
Only 2 weeks after picking up Lin off waivers, the Rockets released him in order to sign Samuel Dalembert. This placed Lin up for grabs again via the waiver wire and again the Lakers attempted to acquire Lin by putting in a claim. As with their first attempt, a team higher on the priority list than the Lakers were awarded Lin, this time it was the New York Knicks.
We all know the story of Lin in New York. He rode the bench behind Mike Bibby and Baron Davis for about 6 weeks. Still working on minimum contracts and trying to get acclimated to the new surroundings of New York City, he bums it on a friends couch until he can find permanent housing. The Knicks are decimated with injuries at the point guard position, Lin gets his chance in a game on February 2nd, 2012. Lin explodes on the scene, scoring 25 points on 10 for 17 from the field, and dishes out 7 assists. Lin goes on a string of highly productive games, including a 38 point game against the Los Angeles Lakers and a 7 game winning. Lin-sanity was born. While Lin’s production faded a bit to close out the year, mainly because Carmelo Anthony had returned from injury and took some of his scoring opportunities, his value was sky high going into the off-season.
Lin signed a lucrative multi-year contract with the Houston Rockets in the off-season that was constructed in a way that the New York Knicks could not match. Lin was never able to repeat the heights of his Lin-sanity stint with the Knicks, but was a solid player with the Houston Rockets in his 2 years.
This story leads us to today where the Lakers, in their 4th attempt to nab Jeremy Lin, finally do by way of trade. In Lin they get a productive point guard that makes his living driving to the basket, but is also a very good outside shooter and passer. Lin struggles defensively and is the reason he lost his starting job in Houston last season to Patrick Beverly; however, he is an incredibly smart player and works hard which will help mitigate some of his defensive deficiencies. It was four years in the making, but the Lakers finally got their man.
– Fern Rea
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