Report: Rockets to pursue Jeremy Lin in free agency

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The Rockets traded Jeremy Lin to the Lakers last summer, but the deal had little to do with Lin.

It was mostly about his contract (and his inability to play up to it)

Houston wanted cap space to pursue Chris Bosh, and Los Angeles wanted the first-round pick the Rockets attached as a sweetener.

So, don’t be surprised if Daryl Morey – who brought Lin to training camp before Linsanity and gave him his first big contract after – wants Lin back.

Howard Beck of Bleacher Report:

The Rockets remain high on Lin and are expected to be among his chief suitors this summer.

Houston already has a solid starting point guard in Patrick Beverley, but he’ll be a restricted free agent this summer. Though he’s a better fit with James Harden in the backcourt, Beverley might be too costly for the Rockets to retain – at least if they want to maintain flexibility.

Lin could be a cheaper alternative who allows Houston to upgrade elsewhere. Or he could back up to Beverley or someone else.

The Lakers have diminished Lin’s value to the point they probably can’t trade him. He probably has not future beyond this season in Los Angeles.

Houston makes as much sense as anywhere for his next stop, and Morey keeping Lin for the first two cheap years of his contract, getting another team to pay Lin’s real-dollar $14,898,938 salary this season – Lin’s cap hit is still $8,374,646 – and then re-signing Lin would be such a Morey move. Sure, the Rockets general manager had to give up a first rounder to dump Lin, but it allowed Houston to sign Trevor Ariza and saved owner Leslie Alexander plenty of cash. And the Rockets would still get Lin in the end.

Of course, Lin would have to forgive Morey’s (chemistry-deprived?) Rockets for putting his number on a Carmelo Anthony jersey before trading Lin.

Lin won’t command as much as he did three years ago, but here’s betting he signs with whichever team offers him the most money. It’s up to the Rockets whether or not that will be them.