It looks as though we have our first blockbuster trade of the offseason. With NBA free agency in full swing, the Houston Rockets are in hot pursuit of several big-name free agents, but first, they need to free up some cap space.
They may be able to do just that by shipping point guard Jeremy Lin to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Sixers, who have ample room on their payroll to absorb Lin’s contract, have emerged as a leading contender to take on Lin in a trade that sends no salary back to the Rockets, which would enable the Rockets to extend a rich offer in free agency to either Carmelo Anthony or Chris Bosh.
It’s believed that the Rockets would have to send Philadelphia at least one future first-round pick to convince the Sixers to go through with the deal, given that Lin is owed $15 million next season despite the fact that his contract will only count for $8.4 million for salary cap purposes.
Sources say that the Sixers, though, are happy to take on Lin — despite the presence of reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams as their starting point guard — provided that the extra asset or two they get from Houston is sufficiently attractive.
Stein also mentions the Milwaukee Bucks as a team that could look to acquire Lin. If the 76ers are able to get Lin, that’s great news for former Kentucky Wildcats center Nerlens Noel.
As of now, the 76ers are likely lottery-bound with their current roster, but Lin could help make this a team capable of contending for the 8th seed in the watered down Eastern Conference.
The 76ers are about $30 million under the salary cap, and with their love for NBA draft picks, they would more than likely eat Lin’s contract in a trade that involved a pick. Lin is owed $8.37 million for the final year of his three-year, $25.1 million deal with the Rockets he got in 2012.
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