The Houston Rockets have traded Jeremy Lin and a future first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers for cash.
The deal shifted Lin’s $15 million salary–with about $8 million counting against the cap–off Houston’s books for 2014-2015, allowing the team to pursue free agents with the relief. The Rockets had coveted big man Chris Bosh, who re-signed with the Heat. The Lakers added in Lin yet another point guard to play behind Steve Nash should the veteran shake the injury bug this season.
Houston telegraphed Lin’s exit when it depicted Carmelo Anthony in a #7 Rockets tank-top above a Toyota Center entrance. Anthony hasn’t decided upon a team, but the Rockets appear out of the running with the Bulls and Knicks the contenders for his services, according to multiple reports.
The presence of the charismatic Harvard grad on the court in the Staples Center likely means a boost in jersey sales and fan interest in a city where Asians make up 12% of the population. The Lakers, featuring several aging superstars on the roster, posted the second-worst record in the Western Conference and uncharacteristically played second fiddle in Los Angeles to the surging Clippers during the 2013-2014 campaign.
The undrafted point guard, who electrified New York City with his out-of-nowhere outstanding play during the 2011-2012 season, averaged 12.5 points and 4.1 assists per game for the Rockets this past season.