Bold Call #1: Lin and Parsons > James Harden

By CalvinChu
Jul. 24, 2014

Recently, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden was quoted as saying that

"Dwight (Howard) and I are the cornerstones of the Rockets," said Harden. "The rest of the guys are role players or pieces that complete our team. We've lost some pieces and added some pieces. I think we'll be fine next season."

Howard was also quoted as saying that Houston "won't miss" Parsons.

The thing is, Harden isn't exactly wrong. Both Dwight and Harden are superstars, but are they going to go anywhere key role players? It is true that Lin and Parsons would've been high priced, and letting them go (and in Lin's case, giving LA draft picks to get rid of him) wasn't the worst financial decision, but Lin and Parsons were crucial in even getting the Rockets to the playoffs, and in Lin's case, carrying the team during the team's playoff series. Harden and Howard are crucial to the team, but when people make statements like this, and have no deep playoff results to show for it, that's when you know things are getting to people's head. The Rockets never were a team per se, at least not at a level that would bring Houston a championship, like San Antonio did.

In fantasy terms, Jeremy Lin may have landed himself an assist goldmine by getting a chance to play with high volume shooters in Kobe Bryant and (Swaggy P.) Nick Young. Steve Nash is 40 years old, and Lin brings defensive tenacity that wasn't respected in Houston. No doubt, Patrick Beverley is a solid point guard in terms of defense, and much respect to him, but Lin was no slouch in defense, either. If Lin could be semi-fantasy relevant on a team with high competition at the PG position for minutes, he should be able to make some fantasy contributions on a team that could see him starting.
Kobe even sent a message out to Lin, saying that they had work to do to improve.
Los Angeles doesn't have much expectations for this season, as Lin and Kobe cost way too much (and arguably Nick Young and Jordan Hill as well) for the Lakers to pursue anyone else this free agency.

Chandler Parsons has the opportunity to play alongside Dirk. Dallas will be able to find him opportunities to get hot and drop big points. Sometimes Parsons looks overrated, sometimes he looks underrated. At the price he's being paid, he may already be overpaid, but he can still be a positive contribution to the Dallas team.
Bold call, Parsons and Lin will have better seasons with their new teams than Harden will with his.
Expect youngsters in Houston like Terrance Jones, Donatas Montejunas, and maybe even Troy Daniels to step up this season, and Harden may not be wrong with his statement that other guys could be replaced. Sooner or later, it will be him who is the one that is replaced. Basketball gods are watching.