Ever since the shortened 2012 NBA season ended with the coronation of the Miami Heat as champions, the NBA has seemed in a state of constant scrambling for personnel as other teams try to keep up with the ‘Heatles’. One of the moves that has gotten the attention of the entire basketball world is the backloaded 3 year offer the Houston Rockets made for NY Knick point guard Jeremy Lin.
It is funny, the short memory of the average fan. But the Knicks did not make a mistake on letting Lin go. I can think of a similar example…
Granted in 2009, Darren Collison was drafted late in the first round, so he had some expectations. However, in New Orleans he was backing up Chris Paul, and doing a good job and he was not at risk of getting cut. But when Paul went down with an injury, and the reigns were handed to the rookie Collison for 37 starts, no one expected the results.
Collison broke a rookie record by dishing out 18 assists, then he broke his own record by handing out 20 more shortly after. He had a triple double, only the second of any rookie in 2009. As a starter, he averaged 18.8 points and over 9 assists, numbers that are better than those Jeremy Lin posted.
Two years later, Collison is headed to his third team, and is an average NBA starting point guard. He really never duplicated the magic he had during that first big run. Had he signed a similar contract, Collison would be entering the balloon payment 3rd year of 15 million heading into next season, and no one on the planet thinks he is worth all that.
Which is a reason the Houston Rockets offer is so befuddling. Their endgame has been to grab a superstar like Dwight Howard and take their chances that they can resign him.
Sure if Lin continues his upward trajectory, it would be massive for marketing and on the court. But what if he is Darren Collison average? Or even if he is better, how much better does he have to be for a Dwight Howard to say ‘I would re-sign with Houston, because they have pieces like Jeremy Lin’?
Because Lin is going to be making a lot of money. In the last year, he will be making what players such as Andre Iguadala, Luol Deng
Here is my prediction for next season, you can take the over or under: 50 -60 games. Average of 12 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 turnovers.
And that is not worth 15 million dollars.