Atlanta Hawks: Suns Need a Point Guard so Why Not Jeremy Lin?

Jeremy Lin #7 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jeremy Lin #7 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With the team’s starting point guard recently released, the Phoenix Suns have a glaring hole at point guard. Could Atlanta Hawks backup Jeremy Lin fill in?

The Phoenix Suns recently released starting point guard Isaiah Canaan, which means the Atlanta Hawks are in a prime position to trade backup point guard Jeremy Lin to Phoenix.

After Isaiah Canaan was released by the Phoenix Suns, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, many teams will likely be looking to deal a point guard to the Suns for assets or a draft pick.

While either Markelle Fultz (who is also a Hawks trade candidate) or John Wall of the Wizards will almost certainly be on the team’s list for potential starting PG candidates, there is one under-the-radar candidate that the Atlanta Hawks could offer up01 in a trade with the Suns: nine-year NBA veteran Jeremy Lin.

After losing a year to injury last year for the Brooklyn Nets, Lin has enjoyed something of a bounce-back season in Atlanta and is posting career-high efficiency numbers with a 64.8 true shooting percentage, and is flirting with an elite 50/40/90 slash line, currently clocking in at 50.6 percent shooting from the field, 41.9 percent from distance and 84.4 percent from the line.

Lin is also scoring 11.2 points per game in only 18.9 minutes played, showcasing extreme efficiency in limited action.

That kind of scoring efficiency combined with solid defense and a veteran’s savvy would make Lin a perfect guide for Devin Booker and the rest of the youth movement in Phoenix.

Here’s a potential deal that would send Lin to Phoenix.

Clearly, Tyler Dorsey is not in the Atlanta Hawks’ long-term plans seeing as he has only played 105 minutes in 10 games so far in his sophomore campaign. Trading him to Phoenix would allow for a fresh start for the former Oregon Duck.

The Hawks would also have to throw in Justin Anderson to make this deal work, which is fine, as he doesn’t particularly match the youthful timeline of this young Hawks team (despite being only 25).

In return, the Atlanta Hawks would pick up Ryan Anderson, who they could waive next year or unload to another team that might need long-range shooting – though his numbers are way down after leaving a favorable situation in Houston.

The main get for the Hawks would be either De’Anthony Melton or Elie Okobo – either of which could be obtained if the outgoing particulars of the deal remain the same from the Hawks’ side.

Which player to prioritize in a deal would be a matter of preference, as Melton projects as a near-lockdown defender at the point of attack and Okobo has immense offensive upside. Again, either one would make for a nice addition to the Atlanta Hawks collection of young talent.

Of course, a future draft pick from the Suns would also be nice – especially seeing as Lin has played very well this year – but draft picks have never had more value, so it is unlikely that the Suns would include one in any deal, even if they would be free of Anderson’s hefty contract.

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Jeremy Lin has been a great story for the Atlanta Hawks in 2018-19, but General Manager Travis Schlenk is clearly a pragmatic operator in the front office. If Lin truly has value right now, it seems unlikely that Schlenk would hesitate to strike a deal that allows the Hawks to accrue more young players in exchange for Lin.