Jeremy Lin’s Injury Hurts Rockets’ Ability to Trade Him

| by Alex Groberman

Jeremy Lin has been one of the NBA’s most pleasant surprises this year. After an up-and-down first season with the Houston Rockets, the 25-year-old was moved to the bench. Predictably, not having to deal with James Harden hogging the ball instantly alleviated him of a whole lot of headaches.

As he proved during his time with the New York Knicks, Lin is fully capable of leading an offense; the reason why he struggled last year is because he was constantly trying to conform to an offense centering around Harden.

Thus far this season, through 16 games, Lin was averaging 16 points on 50 percent shooting. Aside from being ultra-productive for Houston, he was also really durable. While everyone around him was collapsing with back injuries, abdominal strains and so on and so forth, he was standing strong.

Until Wednesday, that is.

During this past week’s game between the Rockets and Atlanta Hawks, Lin collided with Paul Millsap and sustained a grade-1 knee sprain. He will be out at least two weeks.

Not only is this bad news for Houston because they just lost one of their best players, it’s also bad news for Daryl Morey, as he’s trying to find a suitable package for Omer Asik. It’s no secret that the Rockets are trying to move Asik, and it’s also no secret that his trade value has plummeted this year. If Morey wants to get anything even close to good value for his disgruntled big man, he’ll have to throw in a sweetener. Lin’s value has never been higher.

Or at least it wasn’t prior to this injury.

Lin, 25, is still young enough to not be seriously impacted by injuries. He should bounce back fairly quickly. In theory. If he doesn’t, though, don’t be surprised to see Asik play out the rest of this season with the Rockets and Rajon Rondo end the year in a Boston Celtics uniform.