NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 19: Jeremy Lin #17 of the New York Knicks reacts after shooting a three pointer against the Dallas Mavericks at Madison Square Garden on February 19, 2012 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Really, it makes sense.
The Dallas Mavericks are interested in Jeremy Lin and considering a couple of factors, it's kind of a no-brainer:
- Jason Kidd and Jason Terry's contracts are up this off-season, so Dallas desperately needs a point guard
- Dallas was the team that gave Lin his big break, letting him play for their summer league team which first got him noticed by NBA scouts, officials and GMs. So obviously Donnie Nelson and Mark Cuban have much respect for Lin and his abilities.
- Lin is young, athletic and still learning: precisely the kind of player the Mavericks need as their veterans continue to age past 30. He also gets into the paint. That's kind of a big deal.
- Lin could provide a cheaper alternative if Deron Williams signs elsewhere.
Lin is coming off knee surgery but should be back to full strength soon. And while his week of "Linsanity" is what wowed everyone back in February, Lin's numbers dropped considerably when Carmelo Anthony
and Amare Stoudemire
Now, that isn't necessarily bad: Lin's scoring and attempts were a natural decline. His assist and turnover rates remained about the same, but his shooting percentage plummeted to around 40 percent from the field. It isn't anything to really fret over: Lin was playing an absurd amount of minutes, his knee was wearing down and NBA defenses were better prepared.
Truth is, Lin should be able to be an above-average point guard in Dallas. But Rick Carlisle doesn't necessarily have a track record of handing the keys over to a young point guard.
In Detroit, Carlisle had Chucky Atkins
and Chauncey Billups. In Indiana he had a combination of Jamaal Tinsley
and Anthony Johnson. Of course, in Dallas, he had Jason Kidd. Carlisle has never worked with a young point guard as his primary starter and the slow development of Rodrigue Beaubois
could add some fire to that. This also goes to Goran Dragic
, another young, free-agent point guard the Mavericks could pursue if Williams doesn't land in Dallas.
It's an interesting pursuit, nonetheless. Lin has talent and ability worthy of the Mavericks front-office attention and if Deron Williams stays put or bolts elsewhere, Dallas has to have all fronts covered on finding a new point guard.