Following the Dwight Howard move, Jeremy Lin has attracted a lot of attention and many around the NBA believe he will be moved as the Houston Rockets will have gone over the salary cap. Omer Asik and Lin were signed in 2012 and a year later, the point guard looks like the weakest link. Add Patrick Beverley, the backup point guard, and suddenly, Lin looks like an excessive addition to the Rockets' payroll. Head to head, who would the Rockets choose? It looks as though Lin might be on the move.
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Lin vs. Beverley
If the Rockets truly part ways with Lin, it'll be because Beverley true impressed in the opportunity he received in the postseason. Though he wasn't the most popular player after injuring Russell Westbrook, Beverley provided energy and efficiency in his brief opportunity to start in the playoffs.
On one hand, Beverley proved he could hustle and create chaos on the defensive end, averaging 11.8 points, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals and only one turnover in his 33 minutes of action in six playoff games. The only experience Beverley has under his wing are six playoff games, five of which were starts. During the regular season, he played 41 games, averaging just about 17 minutes per game, 42 FG percentage, 38 percent from beyond the arc, 2.9 assists and 5.6 points per game.
The numbers were half as good as Lin's. However, as M. De Moor, Yahoo! Contributor, points out, Lin's stats were extremely poor in comparison to the other point guard's in the Western Conference. Lin was among the poorest scoring and passing point guards in the league in 2012-2013. Among point guards who played over 60 games in the season, Lin only outscored Luke Ridnour of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Randy Foye of the Utah Jazz. Lin's game is assists, yet, amongst fellow point guards who played over 60 games, his 6.1 assists were only better than Foye, Ridnour, Isaiah Thomas and Tyreke Evans.
It is bogus for the Rockets to quickly assume Beverley is ready to take over the point guard role. Lin at least has a track record as he was almost solely responsible for taking the Knicks to the playoffs in 2011-2012. Lin isn't the toughest defender in the world, but he also averaged 1.6 steals per game. Of course, his turnover ratio is concerning. He averaged 2.9 turnovers per game, only Damian Lilliard, Stephen Curry, Greivis Vasquez and Westbrook averaged more turnovers per game. However, aside from Vasquez, Lilliard, Curry and Westbrook will eventually make up for it with their scoring. Lin isn't much of a scorer in this new offense.
One thing the Rockets will need is a point guard who can distribute and hold the ball. This is where Lin's experience comes in to play. He's only going to become more patient and wiser the more he plays. However, the Rockets might be looking at both players' contracts, which might ultimately decide where both play next year.
The Rockets might have overspent on Lin, but they are only aware of this now. He will be making about $17 million in the next two seasons. Meanwhile, Beverley will not even cost the Rockets $2 million in the next two years. The NBA is a business, as much as fans want to have Lin starting in a team, chances are Lin might find himself playing somewhere else in the near future. It's not necessarily that Lin can't play, but the Rockets will look to avoid salary cap taxes and if Beverley can give them somewhat the same production, then why not give it a try?
Lin does deserve to be the Rockets' starter. However, money talks louder than stats.
Who would you pick if you were the Houston Rockets?