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Lakers briefly discussed signing Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin

February 10, 2012 |  5:13 pm

Training camp hadn't even begun in early December, so there was still time to toss around names of unsigned free agents.

The Lakers even discussed Jeremy Lin, who had just been waived by Golden State so the Warriors could create salary cap space to offer a contract to free-agent center DeAndre Jordan.

"I knew who [Lin] was because when he was floating out there, I know Mitch had some interest in him and he brought his name up to me," Lakers Coach Mike Brown said, referring to General Manager Mitch Kupchak.

How close were the Lakers to signing Lin?

"I have no clue," Brown said. "We brought up a million names. This was back before we had the team together. I know that Mitch liked the guy and thought highly of him but I didn't know anything about him back then."

The Lakers didn't sign him, and Lin eventually went to Houston. He was unremarkable there, was quickly waived, and snapped up by New York. He has averaged 25.3 points and 8.3 rebounds in his last three games as a starter for the Knicks, who are dying for point-guard production while awaiting Baron Davis' return from a back injury.

It's been the biggest outburst of Lin's career, by far. He averaged only 2.6 points in 29 games with Golden State last season. He will be in the starting lineup Friday when the Lakers play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

"He's in the right system," Brown said of the Knicks' run-and-gun offense. "Maybe if he's on another team, he doesn't have the success because he doesn't have the freedom that he has here offensively. Who knows? It'll be interesting if he can keep it when when [Amare] Stoudemire and Carmelo [Anthony] come back."

Anthony is sidelined until next week because of a strained groin. Stoudemire is out until next week because of the death of his brother.


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Photo: Jeremy Lin warms up prior to Friday's game against the visiting Lakers. Credit: Chris Chambers / Getty Images