With Linsanity running wild in New York and taking the NBA by storm, it’s no wonder that a Lin-related story will probably surface in almost every NBA city the young Taiwanese-American point guard visits with the Knicks.
Right now, that happens to be Toronto, with Lin and the Knicks set to take on the Raptors at the Air Canada Centre on Tuesday evening for a Valentine’s Day affair.
With that, Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote an interesting article on Monday describing that Lin, in fact, was “almost a Raptor,” sort of.
The article describes how Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo was always fond of Lin as a young man and how impressed he was when Lin took a big fall in a pre-draft workout for the Raptors and yet continued to play. It also mentions that Colangelo, like countless others, wasn’t sold on the fact that Lin was NBA material.
Where the article gets very interesting for Raptors fans is Simmons stating that “just a month or so ago,” the Raptors and Knicks were in “serious talk” about a deal involving one of the Raptors’ point guards (either Jose Calderon, Jerryd Bayless or little-used Anthony Carter), with Simmons deducing that “it was probably the veteran Anthony Carter.”
Anyway, Simmons goes on to say that Colangelo “figured to himself that if he moved one of his point guards to open up a roster spot, there was the possibility he would add the tough kid, Lin, either by trade or waivers, depending on how the Knicks proceeded.”
While the possibility of Colangelo acquiring Jeremy Lin before Lin became Mike D’Antoni’s saviour is certainly intriguing, by the wording in the article, it does not sound like it was a definite decision that had been made by Colangelo, but rather a possibility he was considering. And I have a feeling a lot of NBA executives would tell you they were thinking the same thing right about now.
Obviously if Lin continues to play lights out, meshes with the Knicks’ “stars,” and helps turn the storied franchise into a contender, you would have to assume New York will find a way to retain him for the future (He is set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end). But if Lin flames out and fails to show much more over the next couple of months, and therefore becomes a free agent this summer, can we assume Bryan Colangelo will be one of the front-runners for his services?
Even if Lin doesn’t play another minute of solid basketball this season, the poise and flashes of brilliance he’s shown over the last week or so should be enough to warrant Colangelo or another NBA GM giving him a look next season.
Here’s one thing you can be sure of. If Lin does flame out and falls off the face of the NBA world, Simmons’ article will be forgotten or dismissed as circumstantial. But if he becomes the second coming in New York, Raptors fans will remember it for as long as they live and curse the day the Raptors failed to make it happen.
That’s just how it goes in the mind of a sports fan.