Jeremy Lin, despite struggling to find his niche in his first season in purple-and-gold uniform, is still viewed by some analysts as part of the Los Angeles Lakers? long-term plan.
Averaging at least 10 points and 4 assists per game this season, ?according to ESPN, the 26-year old Lin didn?t turn out to be the high-impact playmaker the Lakers were expecting he would be after acquiring him from the Houston Rockets last offseason.
Lin assumed the Lakers starting job right after Steve Nash went down with a season-ending back injury in the preseason, but his role didn?t last long. After 20 games into his Lakers campaign, Lakers head coach Byron Scott pulled Lin out of the starting lineup and replaced him with veteran Ronnie Price to address defensive issues in the backcourt.
With his $8MM contract expiring at the end of the season, Lin?s future in Los Angeles is clouded with uncertainty, especially with the Lakers showing their intent to use significant portion of their cap space next summer to upgrade the point guard position.
Several sources, including USA Today, indicated that the Lakers are zeroing in on signing elite playmakers like Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns, Rajon Rondo of the Dallas Mavericks and Reggie Jackson of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
However, ESPN Los Angeles writer Arash Markazi believes there?s a chance Lin will continue playing for the Lakers beyond this season. Despite not living up to lofty expectations, the Harvard alum nevertheless proved that he can be an excellent role player, one capable of providing solid numbers in limited minutes.
“There’s a lot of good young talent on his team,” Markazi stressed during a discussion on ESPN Forum. “Obviously, they need a superstar at some point in the future, but Young is a good role player in this team. I think Lin could be a good role player as well.
Staying put in Hollywood also seems beneficial for Lin, who could reap more money from the huge Asian-American community (2.5 Million) in the city. While his next contract isn?t going to be as lucrative as his previous deal, a reunion with the Lakers remains a very ideal move for Lin, on and off the hard-court.