With his playing time already decreasing by each game, Los Angeles Lakers point guard Jeremy Lin should expect his minutes to go south even further as the purple-and-gold looks to use the remainder of their campaign in developing young players and assessing potential mainstays for next season.
After losing his starting job to his backup 20 games into his Lakers career, and of course, getting his first DNP against the Spurs on Friday, things will likely get even worse for the former Harvard hot-shot especially with the Lakers shifting their focus for the next season following Kobe Bryant?s season-ending shoulder injury (torn rotator cuff).
Ethan Norof of Turner Sports believes Lin?s beaching suggested that the Lakers are now ready to go youth over the next three months, allotting more playing time for rookies Jordan Clarkson, Tarik Black and second-year forward Ryan Kelly.
?#Lakers going full blown evaluation mode. About time. Tarik Black should start when back. Jordan Clarkson over Jeremy Lin is fascinating,? according to Norof of Turner Sports.
Los Angeles Times Lakers lead writer Mike Bresnahan believes it?s unlikely the Lakers will retain Lin, who is averaging 10.7 points and 4.5 assists per game this season, unless they completely struck out in their pursuit of top-tier point guards in the free-agency market.
?Only if the Lakers completely strike out in free agency. And even then probably not. Lin has failed to nail down a starting spot twice this season. Nash got it when exhibition season began. Then Nash fell apart, Lin was named the starter, and Ronnie Price took it from him 20 games into the season. Lin is a good athlete but streaky beyond belief. And his defense? Please,? Bresnahan stressed.
From averaging at least 31 minutes per game, Lin?s playing time drastically decreased to just 21 minutes per contest. Although he was able to play 28 minutes in Sunday?s loss to the Houston Rockets, another DNP for Lin might not be far-fetched given the Lakers? plan along with his tumultuous relationship with head coach Byron Scott.
Lin will become an unrestricted free-agent next summer, and if his performance in Los Angeles will be the basis, the market for him is expected to be really thin.
Image Credit:? Jeremy Lin guarding John Wall of Washington Wizards By Keith Allison from Hanover, MD, USA (John Wall, Jeremy Lin) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons