Harvard guard Lin piques L.A.'s interest

A new name has emerged as a candidate to fill a spot on the Los Angeles Lakers' bench as a backup to starting guards Derek Fisher and Kobe Bryant.

Jeremy Lin, an undrafted 6-3, 200-pound combo guard from Harvard, is being considered by the Lakers after the team opened contract discussions with Roger Montgomery, Lin's agent, over the weekend.

"We're just trying to sort out the best roster fit, the best situation for Jeremy, but we're highly considering the Lakers," Montgomery said in a phone interview Monday.

Montgomery said the Lakers aren't the only team vying for Lin, with the Mavericks and an unnamed Eastern Conference team also in the mix. Added Montgomery: "As of late there are a few more players involved as well."

Lin averaged 9.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals while shooting 54.5 percent from the floor and 66.7 percent on three-pointers in five games while playing for the Dallas Mavericks summer league team in Las Vegas.

The 21-year-old guard should be landing on an NBA roster -- the Lakers' or another team's -- sooner than later.

"I think the end game is imminent," Montgomery said. "We're having some internal discussions [with the Lakers] that look positive. There's mutual interest and end game is certainly imminent. The Lakers are definitely in the mix."

The California native (Lin won a state championship at Palo Alto High School) turned heads last week in a summer league matchup against the Washington Wizards and No. 1 pick John Wall. Lin scored 13 points to Wall's 21, but did so on 6-for-12 shooting in just 28 minutes. Wall was 4-for-19 in 33 minutes.
Lin averaged 16.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.4 steals and 1.1 blocks in his senior year at Harvard, earning a unanimous spot on the All-Ivy League first team.

As rare as it is for an undrafted player to make the NBA, it is even more rare for an American-born player of Asian descent to make the league. Lin, whose family is Taiwanese, would follow the likes of Rex Walters (whose mother is Japanese) and Wataru "Wat" Misaka (whose family was Japanese). Walters played in the NBA from 1993 to 2000 and is currently the head coach at the University of San Francisco. Misaka became the first Asian-American professional basketball player in 1947.

Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.