The Milwaukee Bucks are interested in trading for Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, according to a report by ESPN’s Marc Stein that also listed the Philadelphia 76ers as a possible destination for Lin.
The Milwaukee Bucks are another team that would consider trading for Lin if the Rockets add a sweetener or two to the deal for the privilege of shedding Lin’s contract.
As they were a season ago in the race for ping pong balls, the Bucks are once again tangled with Philadelphia in a borderline perverse competition. Like the 76ers, the Bucks would be willing to overpay Lin provided that the Rockets add suitable incentive, presumably in the form of a future first-round pick.
The Rockets’ primary motivation to trade Lin — and add a sweetening pick to do so — is that they would like to shed salary in order to create space to woo a top free agent target. Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh are two high-profile possibilities for Houston.
Lin is slated to earn $15 million next season in the final year of the three-year, $25 million contract that he signed in the summer of 2012. Due to the imbalanced nature of the contract payouts, Lin would count for $8.4 million for salary cap purposes. With a current 2014-15 salary of around $47 million (and on top of that, a cap hold for Jabari Parker of around $3.8 million), the Bucks are far enough under the projected cap of around $63 million to easily absorb Lin’s deal.
Lin may also appeal to the Bucks because their roster is short on guards. They have only Brandon Knight, Nate Wolters, and O.J. Mayo under contract for next season.
Because of the NBA’s July moratorium on transactions, no deals can be made from July 1-9, so any deal on which teams agree would not become official until at least July 10.