Bucks interested in trading for Lin, according to a report

Lin tries to score against the Bucks (Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA  TODAY Sports)
Lin tries to score against the Bucks (Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports)

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.

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  1. we could swap Lin and a second round pick for Mayo and the Rockets will still clear $7 million off their cap space. That said if we do trade for Lin I hope we don’t give up Wolters. Yes he needs to develop his shot and was only a second round pick, but Wolters ran the offense efficiently, played good defense and really I see him as the #1 point guard on our team with Lin as a backup if we trade for him and we move Knight to Shooting Guard. Wolters was underplayed by Drew last season and I think he could be a true point guard for the Bucks for the time being. Lineup of Wolters-Knight-Giannis-Parker-Sanders with Lin, Henson, and Middleton coming off the bench sounds fine to me for the upcoming season.

      • They wouldn’t. While Lin is owed 15 million in cash, his cap hit was spread out over his contract and he will count for 8.7 against the cap. Mayo will count for 8, so they wouldn’t be saving anything else cap room wise, which is the entire reason they would trade Lin.

  2. Two thoughts on this:

    1st – Noooooooooooooo……….

    2nd – Can’t we just, for one season, not pick up some over-rated over paid guy. Always with this crap. Let me guess, we’ll pick up another 2nd rounder or some garbage along with it. Yay! Another guy who possibly could make the team but won’t be considered part of the “core” building process. Aww snap! “Bucks are two or three years away from being good” says someone every year forever. “Man, that Jeremy Lin sure is a great option for the 8th guy in rotation. Glad we picked him up, while at the same time helping out Houston, because they’d totally do the same for us.”

    • Jeremy Schmidt

      I don’t think you’re thinking about this the same way the Bucks are. They might even try and buy him out. Bucks would be most interested in the asset or repacking Lin somewhere else at the trade deadline.

      • I smell what you’re stepping in. But it also wreaks of typical Bucks treading water moves. Hope you’re right.

  3. Bizzucks I get what you’re saying but this would be worth if we did Lin for Mayo. I mean if we get a second round pick as well great…plus Lin would only be for 1 year and 1 year of an IN SHAPE Lin is better than 2 years of an OUT OF SHAPE Mayo. that’s how I view it so I think long term we’d be better off actually.

    • The Rockets WILL NOT take Mayo back…their whole reasoning in this deal is to free cap space. By taking back Mayo it would almost be a push. Lin is owed 8.3 Million and change this year to Mayo’s 8 Million. Mayo will have to be dumped on some other fool of a GM.

  4. I would love this move to happen, but only if Houston adds a 1st round pick. We need guards and he would be an expiring contract. We could potentially trade him away to a contender come next February, also. If they took back Mayo, all the better.

  5. Lin is a nice fellow who won’t get in bar fights or post-game screaming matches. And he’ll fit in nicely as part of another season in which we don’t get that many wins while we let Giannis and Jabari figure things out with no pressure to win. I like Jeremy Lin, but he’s best as a guy providing a spark off the bench. Realistically we’d have to go find an actual starting guard next summer. An opposite strategy would be to make a run at Eric Bledsoe. That might leave us in “battling for the eighth playoff spot” mode next year. On the other hand, with a core of Jabari, Giannis, Bledsoe, Knight (if we don’t have to give him up to get Bledsoe), and Sanders, maybe that’s actually a real team. There’s an argument that you should jump on the Bledsoe bandwagon while he’s a free agent and we have cap space. Then we can challenge Kidd to prove that he can develop what looks like a nice stable of young, athletic ballers.

  6. When was the last real good Bucks’ trade? I really can’t think of one in this century. The only good trades I can remember are, in no particular order:

    1. Bucks get Terry Cummings, Craig Hodges, Ricky Pierce – Clippers get Bridgeman, Catchings, Marques Johnson.

    I really was/am a big fan of both Junior and Marques…but the Bucks got the better end of this deal. Seems longer than the 30 years ago that we pulled this off.

    2. Bucks get Bob Lanier – Pistons get Kent Benson, #1 pick (Larry Drew)

    Bucks get out of the mistake drafting Benson. Again, 34 years ago.

    3. Bucks get Oscar Robertson – Royals get Charlie Paulk and Flynn Robinson.

    Big O was not the player he once was, but 70% of a HOF great for 4 seasons running the team from the point to a championship win and another championship appearance was worth giving up 2 average players.

    4. Bucks get Jack Sikma – Sonics get Alton Lister

    A few future draft picks also included, one of which turned out to be Mark Jackson but the Bucks got the better of this deal.

    Bucks bad trades:

    Way too many to list. The Ray Allen for a washed up Glove Payton and Des Mason is one. I really don’t consider the Tractor Traylor for Dirk trade as being a bad trade…it was more of a bad draft evaluation but you can go either way with that one (bad trade, bad draft eval).

    The one I’m on the fence with is the Kareem trade. Sure, Kareem was the best player in the league at the time, and went on to win more MVP and NBA titles but he was never going to be completely happy spending his career in Milwaukee and the Bucks did get some good/above average players in return (Junior Bridgeman, Dave Meyers, Elmore Smith and Brian Winters) and some of those players were used in trades to get even more good players – Bridgeman part of Cummings trade

    • Brandon Knight and Kris Middleton for Jennings was a pretty good trade especially if you consider that we DIDN’T have to lock in Jennings for 4 years and 40 million.

      If that’s not good enough for you, you’ve gotta go back a few years to find one better. How about Sam Cassell for Terrell Brandon?

    • Tyrone Hill and Jerald Honeycutt for Tim Thomas and Scott Williams was a pretty good trade.

      • Ok, I’ll agree the Sam I am Cassell trade was good, as was the Tim Thomas trade. But to my original point, these were last century trades, back in the 1900’s.

        • Jennings for Knight and Middleton was last year. Hammond has also been very good at trading bad contracts away, Salmons, Jefferson, Jackson…Unfortunately he needs to trade bad contracts away because he is a master at handing out bad contracts. Now there’s a category with to many to list….Mayo, Zaza, Larry, Salmons, Gadzuric etc, etc, etc….

          • True, Jennings trade was only a year ago…so how can one really determine if it was a good trade yet? What if Jennings (who is still very young) turns out to be a perrenial All-Star? What if Knight ends up suffering a career-limiting injury? Sure, it’s hard to speculate the bad, but also hard to speculate the good. As far as the salary issue, yes it looks good now but I guess I don’t look at trades to dump or avoid salary as being “sexy” trades. Time will tell.

        • Never said they are sexy…the simple fact that he has to make them due to his terrible decisions to sign or trade for the guys in the first place was more my point.

  7. I like Wolters, but Lin is a MUCH better player. The only measurable thing that Wolters does better than Lin is not turn the ball over. Then again, Wolters hasn’t really demonstrated that teams need to play actual defense against him. Anyhow, there’s certainly PG minutes to be had for both.

    The Bucks’ best short-term use of cap space is definitely to “rent” it to teams like Houston, and something like this could even bring back a relevant player.

  8. I’m not in love with Lin as a starter at PG, but he certainly has value. Bucks need to make sure they evaluate him appropriately and don’t get stuck in some terrible long term deal. Acquiring Lin would make the Bucks more marketable, but so would winning. The biggest problem I see is shooting. If you add Lin then you need some wing shooting to free up the lane.

  9. Watched a lot of New York-era Lin. Way into this move. It’s an insane overpay, but this would work on two levels: he’s young enough to fit into the rebuilding concept, fills a need, and can do pretty much whatever is asked of him if they want to hang onto him; or, if it’s just for the asset, this is a great chip, primed to move, in the off-chance the Bucks are actually decent this coming season.

    If the Rockets toss an extra first, there’s no reason not to do this. Also, keep in mind, it helps Houston weaken an Eastern Conference team (either NY or MIA). For reals, this one is okay.

    Might help them move some jerseys, too.

  10. Is knight really that bad at PG that we need to trade for lin? I saw huge development from knight as a PG last year. Lets not forget he’s super young yet. I think the money would be better spent elsewhere, if at all. Let philly deal with linsanity and that obscene contract.

    • Knight is a terrible point guard. The improvement he made last year was when he was moved to shooting guard and Wolters took over at PG.

      • Wow, Jeremy, that’s a strong statement about Brandon being a terrible point guard, and raises some questions:

        What do you think of Nate as a point guard? Even if you have a high opinion of him, is he ready to start for the Bucks this season and be the main guy directing the offense?

        In any case, would the Bucks do well to add another point guard to complement Nate? What might they do in this regard?

        As may be remembered, the point position has been a longstanding concern for me, including the part about needing the right player to lead and coordinate our diverse young core. I’m trying to be restrained about this concern, and not make too big of a deal about it, but the comment about Brandon has increased my sense of urgency.

        I really like Brandon at shooting guard, but not at point. I’m open-minded about Nate at point. I’m just sincerely wondering if more should be done at that position, and what others think.

        • I think Brandon is fine at point. I say this because he took some major steps forward as a point guard last year and while he took enormous steps forward in regards to his ability to score he’s not an ideal candidate to defend many of the players around the league at the Shooting Guard position. Also, as the roster grows and matures I believe we will begin seeing Giannis Antetokounmpo playing more of a point forward role which will lessen the need for a true point guard to be on the floor and increases the need for someone who can be a major scoring threat from that position while also being capable of shutting down other point guards around the league which is something Brandon can definitely be if he continues to work on his defense because he has the size and athleticism to get the job done.

          • Knight average 4.9 assists and 2.6 TO’s per game last year…that is not the numbers of a good PG. He took steps forward in scoring average because he was playing on the worst team in basketball and someone has to score the points. The phrase “good scorer on a bad team” comes to mind. To further the point that Knight is not a PG, in the months of January and February when Wolters was inserted into the starting lineup, Knight had his best stretch of the season in both points and assists. Even his playmaking ability improved when he was working off the ball as he averaged over 6 assists a game for the month of February….playing shooting guard. That was the only time in his career he has averaged over 4.9 assists for a calender month. None of this to mention that he is still a highly inefficient scorer, shooting %42 overall and a terrible %46 on 2p attempts. Ultimately I don’t believe this team can win big if Knight is one of its “big 3”.

        • In my fairy tale world Nate takes a leap forward this year under Kidds guidance. In the real world Nate is probably going to be a very capable back up PG for quite a few years in the league. Phx would match the offer sheet in a moment but an easy case for a max deal to Bledsoe could be made here. I truly do not believe that the Bucks starting PG is on the roster at this time.

          • Then again as I actually look at Bledsoe’s numbers…not sure how crazy I’d be about him getting max money. He turns the ball over more than Knight does. But I’m no scout and I’ve seen very little of him playing wise so I don’t think I can offer a very informed opinion.

          • Glad to get your opinions, Jeremy.

            My opinions are generally much less informed than yours, but my hunch is that Brandon Knight is going to be a star for the Bucks, that he’s going to work hard to improve his shooting and all parts of his game, and that he’s going to be a character guy who helps the Bucks to win big if the rest of the team gets it act together.

            I think this will all happen with him at shooting guard.
            I think it’s important to remember that it’s no shame not to have the knack for the point position, and that Brandon can still be really good to outstanding for us at the two position rather than the one.

            Anyway, swapping opinions on this site is something I look forward to, and I appreciate the ideas and assessments of Bucksketball staff and fans. I encourage readers to weigh in freely, even realizing our basketball limitations, more or less.

          • Just to be clear, don’t confuse me w/ Jeremy Schmidt writer on this site…I assume you thought I was him, my opinion isnt all that much more informed than yours I would guess :)

          • Jeremy, I actually did mistake you for Jeremy Schmidt. I am easily confused. Fortunately the words I wrote work well for any and all Jeremys, and all visitors to this site. Even though you’re not THE Jeremy, I’m truly glad to get your opinions.
            Let’s hope you’re right about Nate in your fantasy scenario, and I’m right about Brandon.

          • Agreed…I don’t dislike Knight, just not convinced yet he’s a long term keeper.

          • Jeremy, perhaps you could change your user name by adding the first initial of your last name, unless of course that is S. :) or go with your first and middle name ….. or make your username == >> Jeremy NOT Schmidt :)

  11. The bucks should do this trade, assuming that they don’t then go try to sign Lin to another big deal. Stockpile draft picks, add good leader players that are decent enough to put people in the stands, but continue to lose games and get more good players.
    Let giannis, parker, BK, Henson, and Sanders continue to get good minutes and develop, and we could be on the road to a 3-4 seed in the East. We should try to model our team around what the Thunder did. Just got to hit on the top picks and Parker is about as sure of a hit as you can have (although his ceiling is lower than KD and Westbrook, he is pretty much guaranteed to be a 20 and 8 guy)

  12. I think a lot of you are overthinking the value of Jeremy Lin. His value this year is two things: (1) getting an asset back for him, whether it is a younger prospect from Houston or a future pick, (2) filling the hole in our rotation at guard. We need a 4th guard. We could roll with our current roster, but we would be one injury away from playing some people horribly out of position. Lin doesn’t move the needle (of wins for us next year), but he does settle the rotation. If we truly are about competing for championships in the future, we need to show improvement on the court, without showing too much improvement in wins. Then next year’s draft is solid at the top. We draft another stud, with my preference being Emmanuel Mudiay (6-5 PG rated in top three in draft). We need one more potential all-star piece to have the talent to compete in the near future. I don’t know if Bledsoe is that guy, but Lin is definitely not. If we don’t max offer Bledsoe and get him, then we need to just fill the rotation and hope to get that last piece in next year’s draft. If we draft a guard, we let Lin walk after the season. If we draft another position, then maybe we bring Lin back at a greatly reduced price if we liked how he performed next year. At no point should trading for him now be viewed as gaining him as a building block for a championship, however.

  13. Bucks have no chance next year, so should pay Lin for a year in order to pick up another 1st rd pick and speed-up rebuild.

    Otherwise, the 76ers will grab both Lin (14.9 salary/8.4 cap) and Stoudemire (23.4 salary/23.4 cap) for a year in exchange for 2 future 1st rd picks. Today’s NBA… where a team will pay 38.3 in useless salary (~50% of cap) to tank.

    • Celtics sign Marcus Thornton 1 year @ $8.7M, receive 1st round pick next year from CLE. 76ers & Celtics rebuilding w/ multiple 1st round pick each year (also means adding future trade chips and developing a bench).

      Hammond should have traded two 2014 second round picks to move up into 1st rd. That’s 2 1st rd in 2014. Should have signed Lin or Thornton (need guard help this year) for another 1st rd pick in 2015. Bucks could easily have 4 1st rd picks in 2014/2015, add to Giannis, Henson, Knight… that’s 7 young 1st rounders going into 2016. Get in the game Hammonds.

      • how do you know Hammonds did not try to trade back into the 1st round in this years’ draft ?? I actually like the 2 picks that he made in the 2nd round, of course, we have to see Damien and Johnny play to know for sure..

        • Sure Hammonds looked at trading up (that’s part of his job), but didn’t get it done. From his last 7 years, not a single 2nd rd pick is on Bucks roster besides Wolters. You don’t think #31 & #36 could have been used to get any number of 2-guards, Gary Harris, Jordan Adams, PJ Hairston, Bogdanovic, CJ Wilcox. Another year of watching Wolters/Knight/Mayo backcourt. Inglis & O’Bryant won’t see the court behind Giannis and Parker. Celtics and 76ers are rebuilding fast, Bucks are rebuilding slowly.

          • sure we could have picked a 2 guard at 31 or 36, but Hammond was asked about that and said they did the BPA thing ( aka Ted Thompson )…. I am not gonna give up on Inglis and O’Bryant just yet … Some folks had a first round grade on Damien prior to his foot injury … I am gonna be patient and see what kind of moves Hammonds makes this offseason to perhaps trade away some forward surplus and bring in some actual 2 guards, or even if he trades something away to get more draft picks… Hammonds has been hog tied in recent years by Herb Kohl’s goal of making the playoffs leading to bad veteran signings..

      • I do wish the Bucks had been the team to take on M.Thornton for a 1st rounder and I hope to see the team take on J.Lin for a 1st rounder too.

        • Was Thornton on the Nets before being traded ?? I am asking this because I read that due to the Kidd “”trade””, the Nets and Bucks are not allowed to trade players this year …

          • This is true, but it still doesn’t change the fact that I wish the Bucks had been the team to take on M.Thornton for a 1st rounder.

        • I am amazed at the lack of rumors coming out of the Bucks in free agency outside of J.Lin and OJ Mayo rumors.. Although in the past Hammond and company have been pretty good at being stealthy and under the radar and surprising us with trades.. So long as Lasry is not allowed to answer questions about free agency ( aka his overly open answer about not drafting Embiid )