After opting out of his contract with the Hornets, Jeremy Lin is set to hit the open market in July, and Charlotte doesn’t sound overly optimistic about retaining him. According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Hornets’ top priority is re-signing Nicolas Batum, and the team would also like to bring back Marvin Williams, who is a strong presence in the locker room. That may not leave much flexibility to re-sign Lin, especially since Charlotte doesn’t hold his Bird Rights.
Lin, who turns 28 in August, has played for five different teams over the course of his six-year NBA career, so while he’d like to find a team that will give him the opportunity to start, he’s also prioritizing finding a long-term home, as he nears free agency. “I’m tired of boxes, I’m tired of moving companies, and I want to find a home,” Lin said over the weekend in an interview with the World Economic Forum, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com.
Lin also said during that interview that he intends to “exhaust every opportunity” in search of the best fit, and Broussard hears that the veteran point guard will meet with three teams when the free agent recruiting period begins on July 1st. The identities of those suitors aren’t yet known.
While Lin is keeping his options open, a return to New York to rejoin the Knicks may not be in the cards. As Begley details, Lin didn’t rule out the possibility of a reunion with the Knicks, but also expressed some skepticism about the fit.
“It’s not looking likely, because they just traded for Derrick Rose,” Lin said. “But I will say that ever since I left, I’ve always been open to going back and I still am. Never say never, that’s the one thing in the NBA, never say never. So I’ve always been open, but right now, I’m not sure if it’s the best timing. But if it happens, it happens.”
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, and upped his game when given the opportunity to start (17.5 PPG, 4.8 APG, .461 FG% in 13 contests).