The Philadelphia 76ers have become the NBA’s wasteland for notable players with outsized salaries. According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Jeremy Lin could be the latest big name headed to Philly as the Houston Rockets attempt to shed enough salary to offer Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh worthwhile contracts.
No trade between the teams is imminent at this time, Stein says. The Sixers are reportedly holding out for a future first-round pick from the Rockets in exchange for taking on Lin’s contract.
The Philadelphia 76ers have expressed a willingness to trade for Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin depending on what sort of assets Houston is willing to attach to the deal, according to sources close to the process.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Sixers, who have ample room on their payroll to absorb Lin’s contract, have emerged as a leading contender to take on Lin in a trade that sends no salary back to the Rockets, which would enable the Rockets to extend a rich offer in free agency to either Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh…
It’s believed that the Rockets would have to send Philadelphia at least one future first-round pick to convince the Sixers to go through with the deal, given that Lin is owed $15 million next season despite the fact that his contract will only count for $8.4 million for salary cap purposes.
Sources say that the Sixers, though, are happy to take on Lin — despite the presence of reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams as their starting point guard — provided that the extra asset or two they get from Houston is sufficiently attractive.
Free-wheeling Philadelphia GM Sam Hinkie is a former protege of Houston GM Daryl Morey, and has been a willing trade partner with teams that are looking to off-load problematic salaries. It’s all about gaining as many assets as possible for the Sixers as they continue a long re-building process, and adding Lin’s salary to their cap-sheet is irrelevant for a team with seemingly limitless financial flexibility. Though Lin’s poison-pill deal makes him a difficult acquisition for some teams, Philadelphia ownership has been on board with Hinkie’s plans from the outset and surely understands the value such a trade could net them in the long-run.
Lin is actually a good fit for the Sixers, too, as the team needs another legitimate ballhandler to ease the burden on Michael Carter-Williams. Philadelphia drafted highly-regarded point guard Vasilije Micic of Serbia in the second-round, but he won’t be coming stateside for 2013-2014. Though winning is hardly the priority for the Sixers, development is crucial, and Lin could certainly prove valuable from that perspective next season. Plus, he’s a tradable player given that his contract expires next summer. There’s little downside for Philly here.
It all comes down to the sweetener that Morey and company are willing to offer the Sixers in a trade for Lin. If it’s a first-round pick, this deal seems a formality. As time goes on, though, don’t be surprised if Philly becomes open to the idea of accepting a trade that includes multiple second-rounders – Hinkie values picks late in the draft differently than other teams.
The Rockets already traded Omer Asik to help clear space to chase a maximum free agent. Once Lin is gone, they’ll be that much closer to assembling their own Big Three that Morey has wanted for so long.
Would Lin be a good long-term fit in Philadelphia?
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