JUNE 22: Lin, whose decision was due on Wednesday, has officially turned down his player option and will hit the open market in July, tweets ESPN’s Marc Stein.
JUNE 7: Jeremy Lin will opt out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent this offseason, reports Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com (Twitter links). According to Haynes, the Hornets will make an effort to re-sign Lin, but the point guard figures to have plenty of suitors.
[RELATED: Player option decisions for 2016/17]
Lin, 27, signed a modest two-year contract last summer with Charlotte — that deal paid him $2.139MM in 2015/16, and featured a $2.235MM player option for 2016/17, which was always considered unlikely to be exercised unless Lin suffered a major injury or saw his performance fall off a cliff.
In his first – and possible only – season with the Hornets, Lin averaged 11.7 points per game, right in line with his career average. Lin’s .412 FG% and 3.0 assists per game were the worst full-season marks of his NBA career, but he was still a capable backup to Kemba Walker at the point.
Lin’s option decision deadline is on June 22, so he won’t officially be on track for free agency until that date passes. At that point, Lin will remain on Charlotte’s books with a cap hold worth about $2.567MM. The Hornets only hold his Non-Bird rights, so the team won’t be able to exceed the cap significantly to sign him. Still, with only about $46MM in guaranteed salary on their books for now, the Hornets should be able to find room for Lin if they make him a priority.