NBA Trade Talk: Lin to return to Knicks, Carmelo to Houston Rockets?

Jeremy Lin New York Post

Could Jeremy Lin return to the New York Knicks to enable Carmelo Anthony to become a Rocket?

It seems a long time ago now that 'Linsanity' was born, the nickname given to the hype surrounding Jeremy Lin's remarkable performances for the Knicks.

Lin was seen as a journeyman pro, transformed into a superstar overnight, lighting up Madison Square Garden with 30+ point games in an otherwise non-descript season in New York.

Months later he left, offered substantially more money in Houston where his signing landed up being over shadowed by James Harden.

They added Dwight Howard a year later, but if they aspire to make a big splash this summer there will be salary cap considerations.

While Kevin Love is a target, the sheer number of teams chasing him makes it a lottery at this point, but for free agent Carmelo Anthony there may be less competition.

This is due to 'Melo only being willing to consider play-off ready teams, whereas Love could still stay at Minnesota or test the waters elsewhere for a year as has been rumored at Sacramento before becoming a free agent in 2015.

Anthony is considering his options, which include staying in New York where the Knicks are yet to appoint a new head coach.

The Rockets narrowly lost the opening play-off round thanks to a buzzer beater from the Trailblazers in Game 7, but are considered to be on the cusp. A three of Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and James Harden will have to be feared and respected.

To fit him in, it's likely Lin may be sacrificed. With Carmelo a free agent, the Knicks have the option to attempt to trade for him before he walks when his contract expires on July 1.

If he hits free agency, he would be out of Houston's control with other teams thrown into the mix, but if the Rockets can do a deal to send Lin, who is a free agent in 2015, back to New York, it would free up cap room in the process.

It's a proactive route, and one they are said to be considering. Basketball Insider's Steve Kyler reports

""Houston would trade almost anything not named Dwight Howard and James Harden to get at Anthony and they would go all in on a contract too, there has been talk that Houston has offered up Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin in a 'give away' trade that could include their draft pick in the first round or a roster player like Terrence Jones to get those salaries off the books."

If the Knicks figure they are likely to lose Carmelo Anthony, it makes sense for them to shop him if they see talks heading in the wrong direction.

Jeremy Lin would be just the figure to keep fans interested in New York, even if just a short-term, but enjoyable fix. Linsanity ended far too soon, and if 'Melo is makes it clear he wants out, what harm is there for the Knicks in turning the clock back to 2012?