The worst kept secret in basketball is that the Houston Rockets tried to trade Jeremy Lin prior to officially stealing Dwight Howard from the Los Angeles Lakers. Both Lin and Omer Asik were put on the open market, and ultimately, nobody bit. Now, that’s not necessarily indicative of the fact that they’re overpriced or unwanted. It could mean that, but it could also mean that the timing wasn’t right for any perspective suitors. Either way, though, the important thing is that they were made available in the first place.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a very noticeable resistance amongst a large segment of NBA fans to the notion of Houston wanting to trade Lin. These folks take the suggestion of Lin being tradable as a personal slight, and as some sort of indictment on his skills.
Again, this is simply not the case.
The reason why Lin struggled in his inaugural campaign with the Rockets isn’t because he lacks talent, it’s because he was put in a position where James Harden’s success was the primary objective. Because of that, he couldn’t play to his strengths. End. Of. Story. Lin’s struggles were the byproduct of circumstances – nothing more, nothing less.
While some fans will continue to deny the fact that he even struggled, Lin has been very open and honest about his situation as of late. After publicly acknowledging that last year didn’t go according to plan, primarily because of how his role with Houston changed following Harden’s acquisition, the 24-year-old international star acknowledged that he hears the trade rumors.
"Right now, I know there is always speculation about what's going to happen but I haven't made any decision and I haven't thought about it,” he said during a recent interview. “I am going to approach that question when time comes."
And that’s the healthiest approach. Even if Houston does decide to move Lin, it won’t be until December. That’s when all of the players who were signed this summer become available for trades. And three months also gives Daryl Morey a fair sample size of how Lin, Harden and Dwight Howard look together. If the formula works, everyone stays. If it doesn’t, then Asik and Lin are probably on the way out.
Either way, it seems like Lin is taking a far more realistic and sensible approach to what the future holds than some of his more diehard fans.