x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Houston Rockets hope to lure Jeremy Lin back

New York Knicks are confident to match offer sheet as Houston target Howard from Magic.

Jeremy Lin has signed an offer with the Rockets but the Knicks are expected to match it.
Jeremy Lin has signed an offer with the Rockets but the Knicks are expected to match it.

HOUSTON // The Houston Rockets had Jeremy Lin in training camp last December. Now they want him back.

Lin, the Taiwanese-American who became an overnight sensation during a remarkable run with the New York Knicks last season, has signed an offer sheet with Houston, reportedly for a three-year deal worth about US$25 million (Dh92m).

New York has three days to match Houston's offer, and coach Mike Woodson said last week that Lin would "absolutely" return and would be the starter entering training camp.

The Knicks have already signed veteran guard Jason Kidd, who said he is looking forward to mentoring the man who sparked "Linsanity".

The 6ft 3in Lin was briefly in Rockets training camp before last season began.

Houston waived him because they already had point guards Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic on their roster.

Lin eventually signed with the Knicks, where he was sitting at the end of the bench before being pressed into service because of injuries to other players. His performance sparked international interest last February when he led the Knicks to seven victories in a row with his clutch shooting and spectacular precision passes.

He averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in 35 games before his season ended because of torn cartilage in his left knee.

The Rockets hope to acquire Lin to replace Dragic, an unrestricted free agent who signed a four-year, $30m deal with Phoenix Suns. The Rockets are also trying to pry All-Star centre Dwight Howard away from the Orlando Magic.

They have been shuffling players throughout the off-season and are now in position to absorb multiple undesirable contracts from Orlando in a potential deal.

Daryl Morey, the Rockets general manager, has also spent years trying to land a top-tier superstar who he envisions as the cornerstone of a championship-calibre team.

Now his target is Howard, a six-time All-Star and three-time defensive player of the year.

The Rockets have needed a dependable big man since former top overall pick Yao Ming started getting leg and foot injuries that eventually led to his retirement last summer.

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE