THURSDAY, 10:39am: The deal is official, the Hornets announced.
WEDNESDAY, 8:32am: The Hornets and unrestricted free agent Jeremy Lin have reached an agreement on a contract, Lin announced via his Instagram account. Lin’s deal will be for two-years, and in excess of $4MM, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports tweets.
The Mavericks were reportedly discussing sign-and-trade options with the Lakers, and were the presumed favorites to acquire the point guard or sign him outright. It’s unclear what led Lin to the Hornets, be it a more lucrative offer, or Dallas’ attention being focused on the ongoing free agent drama involving center DeAndre Jordan. Wojnarowski had previously relayed that Lin looked at Dallas as a means to reignite his career, especially with a chance to become the starting point guard. But he’ll now be relegated to being a backup to Kemba Walker in Charlotte.
The point guard took to Facebook to explain his decision (h/t to USA Today), writing, “Going into my first true free agency as an NBA player this off-season, the one thing that mattered to me the most was finding a team that would be a good fit for me. I wanted to be on a team where I would be able to play freely and truly play the game I love with joy again. That has always been the most important thing to me. After a LOT of prayer and long discussions with family and friends, I wanted to personally let you guys know I’ll be joining the Charlotte Hornets.
My journey has never looked the way I [or anyone else] thought it would, but God has always worked things out for my good and I am confident that he will continue to do so. I want to thank Coach [Steve] Clifford and the Hornets organization for this opportunity – for taking the time to talk to me, understanding my game, and most importantly, making it clear they believe in me. For those of you who have been patiently waiting for news, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for joining me on this journey. To the Lakers organization and the city of Los Angeles, thank you for your support this past season. I have no idea what is coming next, but I promise I will do everything in my power to contribute to this team and to improve as a player and as a person. Here’s to the next chapter!”
Lin made 74 appearances for the Lakers last season, including 30 starts, averaging 11.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 4.6 assists in 25.8 minutes per game, with a slash line of .424/.369/.795. His career numbers through five NBA seasons since going undrafted out of Harvard are 11.7 PPG, 2.6 RPG, and 4.8 APG, with a shooting line of .437/.349/.799.