Apr 30, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin (7) celebrates after making a three-pointer during the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers in game five of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Rockets' GM Daryl Morey defends using Jeremy Lin's number to recruit Carmelo Anthony

There was a bit of an uproar on Wednesday when the Houston Rockets used point guard Jeremy Lin’s number in photoshopped pictures of Carmelo Anthony in a Rockets’ jersey.

Anthony was in Houston to hear the Rockets’ pitch as they try to recruit him to join their team.

Rockets’ general manager Daryl Morey defended using Lin’s jersey.

It’s always a challenging situation during free agency, Morey told Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. “You are always having to recruit players and there might be current players at current positions, might be people with the current numbers. It’s unfortunate that it’s often hard to handle. Reality is, it’s standard practice.When we went after Chris Bosh a few years ago,we had him in Luis Scola’s number. When we went after Dwight Howard he had (Pat) Beverley’s number. I get the sensitivity and I hate that it creates some hurt feelings. I don’t like that, but that’s obviously Carmelo Anthony’s number, that’s the number he wants. He told us that. Bottom line, if Carmelo comes Omer Asik and Jeremy Lin have to be traded. It’s just math. It’s not personal. My job is every day figure out how to win. Sometimes it creates challenging situations.”

Even if you are angry about the use of Lin’s jersey, it is good to see that Morey is being honest. The Rockets, who have already agreed to deal Asik to the New Orleans Pelicans for a future first round pick, also reportedly have Lin trade lined up if they get a commitment from a top tier free agent like Anthony.

Lin went for 12.5 points, 4.1 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 44.6% from the field, 35.8% from beyond the arc and 82.3% from the charity stripe in 71 games last season.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony Daryl Morey Houston Rockets Jeremy Lin NBA Free Agency

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