While we wait on official confirmation that LeBron James is going to take his talents back to Cleveland, the Sixers do appear to have some role in this entire free-agency frenzy.
With James likely exiting South Beach, Chris Bosh is expected to take the Houston Rockets max-offer of four-years and $88 million. To make that deal a reality, the Rockets will need to clear Jeremy Lin‘s eight million cap hit off the books.
Last week, ESPN’s Marc Stein reported that the Sixers were ‘the leading contender’ for Lin’s services. Yahoo!’s Marc J. Spears followed that up by saying that the Milwaukee Bucks, another team with a ton of cap flexibility, ‘had no interest’ in taking on the nearly $15 million that Lin is technically due in the final year of his deal.
This evening, Jake Pavorsky of Liberty Ballers took things a step further, by saying that the Rockets and Sixers have reached an agreement in principle on a trade that will send Lin to Philly, which will hinge on the Rockets actually completing the Bosh deal, or some other max contract.
The Sixers and Rockets already agreed to a deal for Lin, so best case here is James goes to Cleveland, which sends Bosh to Houston.
— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) July 9, 2014
Philadelphia would receive Lin and at least one first rounder. Not confirmed but sounds like there’s a 3rd piece to PHI in the deal. — Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) July 9, 2014
That Lin deal does hinge on Houston signing a max player, which at this point seems like Chris Bosh.
— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) July 10, 2014
ESPN’s Brian Windhorst says that the Rockets could really push Bosh to make a decision by Saturday evening, being that they have until then to match Chandler Parsons‘ offer sheet that he signed with the Mavericks today. If Bosh leaves before LeBron, and Carmelo Anthony completes his deal with the Knicks as expected, LeBron has an even more convenient reason to leave Miami.
If Bosh and LeBron end up back in Miami, Houston would still need to move Lin to match Parson’s offer sheet of three-years and nearly $50 million, which gives the Sixers even more leverage in the Lin deal.
The idea of ‘at least’ one first-round pick coming back in the deal is scary. The idea that regardless of whether they sign Bosh or bring back Parsons, the Rockets will NEED to move Lin, is even scarier. If the Sixers can walk away from a potential Lin deal with a first round pick or two, and potentially another piece, I’ll be more than happy to have Lin turn the ball over in Philly for a season. Hell, the Sixers could waive him for all I care. Getting more picks, even if they will be later in the first-round, gives Sam Hinkie even more odds to find the players that he wants to build a successful program. As Tom McGinnis says, “Get excited!”