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Latest On Jeremy Lin, Hornets

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).

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7 thoughts on “Latest On Jeremy Lin, Hornets

  1. A return to Houston would make sense. Backing up Beverly, or allowing Houston to deal Beverly for another piece would be optimal.

  2. ErnestoFigueroa87

    BrookLin

  3. I thought Lin coming to the Hornets was the best thing that could happen. Bring in competitiveness and help recruit other FA’s wanting to help make the Hornets into a steady, competitive playoff team. Charlotte welcomed Lim with open arms. I think the Hornets would love having him, to grow with the team. If he thinks he can do better elsewhere, then here then good and BY-BY. There are others that would jump, with the opportunity to play in a sports-minded area.

    • Can’t blame him really for trying to find a starting job and more money. In Charlotte he’s going to be stuck behind Kemba barring injury or a massive dropoff in production by Kemba. A team looking for a point guard will probably be able to give him more minutes (whether as a starter or 6th man) than the Hornets probably would. Plus the money doesn’t hurt. I don’t know how much the Hornets would have left to spend if they found a way to keep Batum and/or Marvin Williams. If one or both of those guys leave then they could probably give Lin some more money but being a team’s third priority in the offseason isn’t helping the cause.

      • Your right. He want’s to be a full-time starter but I don’t see that happening here or anywhere else. The 5 teams he played for, only Hou. used as a starter the 2012-13 season, that’s it. Coming off the bench as a 6th man is a specialty today and he’s very good at it. That should be worth a nice contract but not 18-25k per. Same goes for Batum. As for Kimba, everybody has off days, he will too but Kimba gives 100%, has improved every yr since his rookie yr. As for Batum, I don’t think he’s yet not a Max. player. He needs to show more, be more consistent, improve his game. I’d offer him an extension a 1 yr and hope he could play a full improved season than show him the money as they say. Players want the big money but you need to earn it every year.

        • There’s too much risk involved for the players. Why should Batum pass up a deal to get $18 million or more per year to take a one year deal worth the max (presumably what you would have to offer him to convince him to sign a one year deal, I doubt a market rate or cheaper rate would convince him on a one year)? If he has a terrible year or suffers a bad injury, he might not even sniff $10 million a year. Agreed that he would be worthy of a max if he had a good year again, but the financial risk doesn’t make sense to take a one year prove it deal when he basically just did that and is likely to get a big offer from another team.

        • Nic Batum has been prioritized by the Hornets as a must-sign FA. They’d like to keep him for less than a max deal, but they will give him a max deal if necessary. Judging from the rumors around the NBA, there are a few “attractive teams” that are willing to go to the Max to sign him. This may force the Hornets’ hand because they will have a really big “fail” if they lose him. You will see much (but not all) of Kemba Walker’s “improvement” last year flushed down the toilet with his departure because KW will have to do much more of the “facilitation/distribution” work that Batum handled last season. This is not one of KW’s areas of strength. The team’s overall performance will suffer as a result and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team drop out of the playoffs once again.

          JLin was a big part of the Hornets’ success last season. He was not a priority option in the team’s offense and his utilization was not best-suited to his skill-set. He produced far in excess of what he was paid for….he was a true bargain for the Hornets.

          Monetary considerations aside, JLin should be looking for a team that will better utilize his skills as a PG and afford him more PT at that position. He really has to look out for himself because right now what is best for his career is not necessarily what’s best for the Hornets. He just has to “play the FA game” and see what shakes out. Undoubtedly, some team will be willing to pay him multiples of $2.3 million even as a back-up PG.

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