Vaughn Ridley / Getty Images
The Portland Trail Blazers "expressed interest" in acquiring Jeremy Lin, Atlanta Hawks guard, by Sean Deveney of Sports News:
"Sources told SN that (the Blazers) had expressed interest in another player who should be available for a first-round pick: Atlanta's gamekeeper, Jeremy Lin, when the Hawks traded for Lin, last summer, it was hoped that it could be a veteran Trae Young's presence during the early part of the season, could then be replaced by a rebuilding asset to help the Hawks' future, of the Woebegone.A first round would do the trick. "
Lin, 30, averaged 11.0 points on 48.7% of his shots in 19.3 minutes per game for the Hawks. Atlanta needs more points in the absence of the injured Taurean Prince and Kent Bazemore, and Lin has accumulated 18.0 points in 31.3 minutes per game in his last two games.
Lin had a kneecap fracture in his right knee and only played in a Brooklyn Nets game last season. However, he seems to have made a remarkable recovery based on his performance this season, especially in his last two games.
As Deveney noted, the Blazers need a lot of depth behind their leading trio of Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic.
Portland has a collection of guards that can be hot all night (for example, Nik Stauskas and Seth Curry), but Lin has a better record by placing the ball in the hoop more regularly than any backcourt player in Portland unnamed Lillard. or McCollum. After riding the bench for a good part of his rookie year, the nine-year veteran averaged 12.5 points in 27.1 minutes per game for the rest of his career.
The Portland bench also ranks among the league's top-10 plus-minus, according to NBA.com, and only 15 points overall. They have a collection of players that can fill a variety of roles, but they can not rely on anyone to lose 10-15 points each night and lighten the burden of the starting backcourt scores.
If a premium price is the price for Lin, then that's a no-brainer for the Portland Trail Blazers. At the current state of things, Portland seems to be well engaged outside the lottery and perhaps even in the last 10 of the first round.
While gems can be found from time to time, it is likely that Portland will not hit a chosen person so far. The acquisition of a proven product such as Lin in order to succeed a playoff series is a much safer bet.