• Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin (Photo : Getty Images/Streeter Lecka )

  • Jimmy Butler

Jimmy Butler (Photo : Jonathan Daniel | Getty Images Sport)

The NBA rumors on the offseason are emerging as only eight teams are left standing in the 2015-16 season.

The Charlotte Hornets were booted out by the Miami Heat in a crushing thirty-three point drubbing. The season was still an overall success for the franchise whom many dismissed when Michael Kidd-Gilchrist got injured.

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The key acquisitions for the Hornets last offseason, Nic Batum and Jeremy Lin, played their best with Coach Steve Clifford but the caveat is that both will become free agents. To complicate matters, Marvin Williams, who also emerged with his best season is unrestricted, not to mention starting center Al Jefferson and Courtney Lee, whom they got in a late-season trade.

In an ESPN Insider discussion, all the experts agreed that Batum was the priority. The Hornets would max him out rather than lose him as it's certain that he will have a string of suitors. Williams played well as a small-ball power forward and shot well from three point land, and he's most likely the next in line.

While the Hornets would want to keep Jeremy Lin, they probably can't pay him like a starter. This could be a problem for the Hornets because there are teams desperately seeking for a point guard.

One of those teams could be the Chicago Bulls. While they do have Derrick Rose, the buzz in Chicago is that only one of Jimmy Butler or Rose should stay. Butler was often teased as the one to go because Rose would be a challenging trade.

However, Bill Simmons in the Ringer NBA Show mentioned a scenario involving the Brooklyn Nets. Noting that the Nets have traded away their first round picks to Boston and that they are unlikely to be a free-agent destination, the only recourse for the Nets would be to use their cap space for salary-dump style trades.

Rose has proven that he can still play but the Bulls may want to resolve their "alpha-dog conundrum" with Rose and Butler. The only challenge is that no team would trade a key player for him-which is required because of Rose's $21million paycheck.

With the Nets, because they are under the cap, they don't have to match the salary and just absorb Rose into their cap. If the Bulls are agreeable to sending Rose off just for cap relief, this scenario is very plausible.

If the Bulls trade away Rose, they can pursue Lin as their starting point guard. Lin does not demand an unreasonable paycheck; a range from $ 10-12 million would be fair for him. A Jeremy Lin-Jimmy Butler combo has a lot of potential. Also, it's unlikely Lin would have an ego clash with Butler.

Lin would flourish with "Hoiball," the fast paced offense run by Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg. Signing Lin at a reasonable price will also give them enough cap room to sign another significant free agent.