This is going to be one of the most played out story-lines of the 2012 NBA Free Agency. Will there be a Linsanity Part II in New York City? Or will the two-time MVP be teaming up with his old pal Amar’e Stoudemire?
There are some legitimate reasons that people could vote for Nash against Lin.
He is a proven point guard that has been one of the leaders in assists for the past several seasons. He can spread the floor with his 3-point shooting. He has worked with a pick-and-roll player (Stoudemire) and a scorer (Joe Johnson) before, and has the skill set to possibly be the answer to the ‘Melo/STAT chemistry issues.
I get that he is one of the best point guards of the last 10 years, probably up there with the best ever, but I see his age as what makes him undesirable for this team. He is 38 years old, which in basketball years is more like 50. Nash has logged a ton of minutes on his knees, and is not the point guard of the future for any team, even if he thinks he can go for three more years. The future Hall of Fame point guard is simply not the right fit for this Knick team.
As for Jeremy Lin, there are no MVP awards in his trophy case, and there are no assist-leading seasons under his belt. What Lin has is an abundance of potential.
The 23-year-old Harvard graduate is capable of anything at this point in his young career. Is it likely he will be the next Steve Nash? I doubt it, but it is possible. That is where Lin excels. There is nothing we can rule Lin out of being capable of. He can lead this team as our starting point guard for the next 10, or even 15 years.
During Linsanity that is what America fell in love with. There was nothing that people didn’t think he could do.
During that run, we saw that he has a knack for using his 6-3 frame to drive into the paint, and convert tough plays while absorbing contact. He has a decent and developing court vision that will only improve with experience. His 3-point shot, while needing improvement, is not awful, and can be turned into a consistent weapon for him.
Of course, when you are going with a high risk-high reward type player, there are always potential drawbacks.
We could sign Lin to full or part of our mid-level exception, and he could turn out to be a flop. He could turn into a Toney Douglas, who showed promise, but was unable to perform when the team put the ball into his hands. There is a chance that he fails as a starting point guard, and that Linsanity was a statistical anomale.
But. I don’t think that will happen. I think Lin makes players around him better, and I think he makes the Knicks as a whole better.
Is Nash still great at his age? Yes. Will he still be a year from now? Will he be effective when his desired three-year deal runs its course? The odds are against him. Jeremy Lin on the other hand has no where to go but up.
He needs to get his shooting percentages up, and his turnovers down, but I believe that Jeremy Lin can be the point guard for this team for many years to come.