Jeremy Lin

Jeremy Lin Signs With Guangzhou Loong Lions

Veteran free agent point guard Jeremy Lin has signed with the Guangzhou Loong Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to the team. Lin published an Instagram post confirming his new basketball home.

Lin, who turned 34 in August, hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since the 2018/19 season, when he won a championship as a Raptors reserve. However, he has continued to play in China and the G League since then, suiting up for the Beijing Ducks in 2019/20 and ’21/22, and for the Santa Cruz Warriors in 2021.

Lin has seen action in a total of 480 regular season NBA games, averaging 11.6 PPG and 4.3 APG in 25.5 minutes per contest for the Warriors, Knicks, Rockets, Lakers, Hornets, Nets, Hawks, and Raptors. He’s best remembered for his “Linsanity” run with the Knicks during the post-lockout 2011/12 season.

Last season, Lin battled a bad case of COVID-19, spending three months in isolation and losing 20 pounds, according to Matt Eaton of the South China Morning Post. Lin said that the “mental and physical impact” of that experience took its toll, but it sounds like he’s ready to return to the court. The 2022/23 season will be the first time he has played for a non-Beijing CBA team since 2011, when he was a member of the Dongguan Leopards.

And-Ones: I. Thomas, Trade Candidates, Lin, Noel, Draft

Team USA only won one of two games in the first round of qualifiers for the 2023 World Cup this week in Mexico, but veteran guard Isaiah Thomas played against both Cuba and Mexico, leading the U.S. with 42 total points and 13 assists in 49 minutes across the two contests.

After putting up 21 points in Team USA’s win over Cuba on Sunday, Thomas reiterated his desire to get back onto an NBA roster, while leaving the door open to the possibility of playing in an international league.

The ultimate goal is to get back in the NBA,” he said, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). “I just love playing the game of basketball. So, obviously, at some point, if the NBA isn’t an option I’ve got to look at options overseas. … I love competing and I love playing.”

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In the latest HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto and Yossi Gozlan identified some potential trade candidates among the group of the players who will become eligible to be dealt on December 15 or January 15. Nuggets wing Will Barton, Pelicans swingman Josh Hart, Rockets center Daniel Theis, and a few Pistons veterans are among the players Scotto and Gozlan discussed.
  • Former NBA point guard Jeremy Lin has returned to the Beijing Ducks for another season, as EuroHoops relays. Lin, who has been out of the NBA since winning a title with Toronto in 2019, said in a statement that “playing basketball in China feels at home.”
  • After filing suit against his former agent Rich Paul, Knicks center Nerlens Noel now finds himself at odds with the players’ union. As Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic explains, the NBPA’s standard player agent contract states that disputes should be settled through arbitration, which Noel has circumvented by taking his issue with Paul to court.
  • ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz (Insider link) updated their top-100 big board for the 2022 NBA draft on Tuesday and shared some insights on several college prospects. Auburn’s Jabari Smith made a significant impression on Schmitz, who said he was “blown away” by what he saw from the 18-year-old and considers him a potential dark horse to be next year’s No. 1 pick.

And-Ones: Lawson, Tobey, Lin, Ainge, Alkins

Former Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson has signed with Kolossos Rhodes, a team in the Greek League, per a team press release. According to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando, Lawson originally signed with the Greek club last January, but was unable to leave China to join the team due to travel complications.

Lawson, who is still only 33 years old, had several seasons of borderline All-Star level play for the Nuggets before off-court issues derailed him. The 5’11” point guard has averaged 26+ PPG and 8.7+ APG the last two seasons in China. This stint marks his first time in the European leagues since he played with BC Zalgiris during the 2011 NBA lockout.

We have more news from around the world of basketball:

  • Mike Tobey, who played in two games for the Hornetsduring the 2016/17 season, had a strong showing for the Slovenian Olympic team alongside Luka Doncic in Tokyo, averaging 13.7 PPG, 10.5 RPG and 2.5 APG while shooting 38% from three. But Marc Stein reports that Tobey has a significant buyout with his current team of Valencia in Spain, making a return to the NBA a complicated proposition, at least in the near future.
  • Former Knick – and NBA champion with the Raptors – Jeremy Lin tested positive for COVID-19 upon landing in Shanghai, tweets Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Lin said he is vaccinated, and is only experiencing minor symptoms.
  • Danny Ainge may not be with the Celtics anymore, but he calls his current status “taking a break,” rather than “retired,” according to an interview with A. Sherrod Blakely. “I’m pretty sure I don’t want to re-enter to the level I was at, for sure,” Ainge said. “I’m enjoying what I’m doing now. I’m in no rush.”
  • Rawle Alkins plans to sign with Ukraine’s Dnipro, according to our JD Shaw (Twitter link). The 23-year-old 6’5 guard from the University of Arizona played 10 games for the Bulls during the 2018/19 season.

Jeremy Lin Re-Signs With Beijing Ducks

Jeremy Lin has re-signed with the Beijing Ducks, Lin announced on Instagram.

The nine-year NBA veteran, who rose to fame during a 26-game stint with the Knicks now dubbed “Linsanity,” played 32 games for the Ducks in the 2019/2020 season, averaging 22 PPG, 5.6 APG, 5.7 RPG and nearly two SPG as the Ducks went 32-14 and finished fourth in the Chinese Basketball Association.

This year, Lin signed a contract with the Santa Cruz Warriors, hoping it would translate into a deal with an NBA team, but he ended his stint in Santa Cruz as the only top-10 G League scorer not to get a deal with an NBA team. After, he wrote an emotional post acknowledging that the door back into the NBA seemed to be shut, but that he had proved to himself and others that he still belonged, that he was still an NBA-level player.

No regrets about the past, excited for the future,” wrote the 32-year-old point guard in his Ducks announcement. “Still got a lot of basketball left in me and we’ll see where this road goes.” He concluded with the hashtag “NeverDone.”

And-Ones: Lin, Appling, Brazdeikis, Bucks

Jeremy Lin plans to keep on playing next season with the hope of hooking onto an NBA franchise, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Lin played in the G League this season, with the aim of landing another NBA contract. That didn’t happen, much to his dismay, despite averaging 19.8 PPG in nine G League contests. Lin is preparing for next season and evaluating his options, Stein adds. Lin hasn’t appeared in an NBA game since 2019.

We have more from the basketball world:

  • Keith Appling, who played five games for the Magic during the 2015/16 season, has been arrested in regard to a homicide investigation in Detroit, according to an Associated Press report. The former Michigan State star has been accused of shooting a 66-year-old man after an argument on Saturday night. Appling was placed on probation last year in a heroin-related case.
  • Forward Ignas Brazdeikis, who finished this season with the Magic, is looking to make the Lithuanian national team, Marius Milasius tweets. He’ll participate in the team’s camp before the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Kaunas. Brazdeikis, who has previously represented Canada in international play, is officially a Lithuanian citizen, but doesn’t have his passport yet and still needs to meet FIBA requirements. He will be among 14-15 national team candidates.
  • The Bucks are partnering with Motorola and will wear the company’s “batwing” logo on the front left shoulder of their jerseys, according to a team press release. The team previously wore a Harley-Davidson patch.

Jeremy Lin Disappointed Not To Get NBA Call-Up

Veteran guard Jeremy Lin published an Instagram post on Tuesday evening expressing disappointment that he was unable to earn a call-up to the NBA following a successful stint in the G League earlier this season.

Lin, who last played in the NBA in 2019 with the Raptors, decided to play in the G League rather than spending another year in China, since he believed the NBAGL represented his best shot at getting back to the NBA — especially given the restrictions on international travel and scouting in place during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 32-year-old averaged 19.8 PPG on .505/.426/.879 shooting in nine G League contests for the Santa Cruz Warriors. While his age worked against him, it’s worth noting Lin was the only player among the NBAGL’s top 14 scorers who didn’t spend any time with an NBA team during the 2020/21 season. Twelve of those players finished the season on an NBA roster, while one (Henry Ellenson) received a 10-day deal in March.

“For months, I saw others get contracts, chances, opportunities,” Lin wrote on Instagram. “I told myself I just need ONE ten-day contract, one chance to get back on the floor and I would blow it out the water. After all that’s how my entire career started – off one chance to prove myself. For reasons I’ll never fully know, that chance never materialized. But I proved I’m better than ever and an NBA player.”

Although Lin’s post isn’t a retirement announcement, it reads as something of a farewell to the NBA, as Kurt Helin of NBC Sports observes. Lin referred to having taken a year to “chase a dream” and called May 16 the “final deadline” for an NBA call-up. He also addressed the next generation of Asian-American NBA hopefuls, telling them, “You guys got next.”

Those comments don’t mean Lin is giving up on the NBA in future seasons. However, they suggest that when he resumes his career, he may be more inclined to consider other options, including possibly a return to China, where he could play a starring role.

“I didn’t get it done, but I have no regrets,” Lin wrote. “I gave my ALL and hold my head high. As for what’s next, I trust what God has in store for me.”

And-Ones: Lin, Draft Pick Trades, March Madness, J. Howard

Following a productive stint in the G League bubble, where he averaged 19.8 PPG on 50.5% shooting in nine games, veteran guard Jeremy Lin explained to Marc Stein of The New York Times why he opted to play for the Santa Cruz Warriors instead of accepting a far more lucrative offer in China.

“The more that we talked to teams, they were telling my agent, ‘Hey, we want to see if Jeremy’s healthy, and we want to see if Jeremy can still go. No offense to some of the leagues overseas, but we would love to see him here in front of us, in an NBA system, playing under NBA rules,'” Lin said. “I know I’m an NBA player. I know I’m a better shooter. I know I’m a better defender. I know I’m more well rounded as a basketball player. I know these things, but I just needed a chance to show it.”

Within his wide-ranging Q&A with Stein, Lin also revealed that he was affected by a small bone spur in his shooting elbow during his most recent NBA stint in Toronto in 2019, and had to undergo surgery to address the issue after the season. The 32-year-old added that he remains confident he’ll get another chance to play in the NBA, suggesting that he believes it’s “just a matter of time.”

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In an interesting piece for The Ringer, Danny Chau dives into the evolution of draft pick trading, examining when and why certain restrictions were put in place, and how teams have continued to get creative with the protections and conditions on traded picks.
  • Potential top picks Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, and Evan Mobley are among the many prospects that Jonathan Givony and Mike Schmitz of ESPN (Insider link) will be keeping an eye on during the upcoming NCAA tournament. Givony also notes that many NBA executives believe Michigan coach Juwan Howard will be in “high demand” this offseason, though it remains to be seen whether Howard will consider leaving the Wolverines.
  • Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press explores how the lure of making the play-in tournament has changed the feel of the trade deadline by creating fewer potential sellers.

And-Ones: Lin, G League, Playoffs, Eboua

Having investigated Jeremy Lin‘s allegation that an opposing player called him “coronavirus” during a game, the NBA G League has identified that player, as Shams Charania of The Athletic relays (via Twitter). With Lin’s support, the league is handling the matter internally, Charania says.

An NBAGL spokesperson confirmed that Lin has met with the offending player to discuss the incident, adding that the player “understands the impact that hearing his comment had on Lin.”

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Speaking of the G League, the brief 2020/21 season came to an end on Thursday when the Lakeland Magic defeated the Delaware Blue Coats for this year’s NBAGL championship (link via The Associated Press). All the players under NBA contract who had been assigned to the G League bubble should now be headed back to their NBA teams, if they haven’t already rejoined them. That includes Lakeland’s Karim Mane (to the Magic) and Delaware’s Paul Reed and Isaiah Joe (to the Sixers).
  • While the NBA has done a pretty good job during the last year dealing with the effects of the coronavirus, John Hollinger of The Athletic questions what the league’s plan will be for the 2021 playoffs. The league has had to postpone over 30 games so far this season for reasons related to COVID-19, but having to deal with any postponements in the postseason would be a major problem.
  • Cameroonian forward Paul Eboua, who was in camp with the Heat in December and played for the Long Island Nets in the G League bubble, is headed back overseas, having reached an agreement through 2022 with VL Pesaro, per La Gazzetta dello Sport (hat tip to Sportando).

Pacific Notes: Gasol, Leonard, Poole, Mannion, Lin

Lakers center Marc Gasol was inactive on Tuesday after being placed under the league’s health and safety protocols, Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register tweets. Gasol had started all 35 games this season prior to Tuesday, posting modest stats of 4.8 PPG and 4.1 RPG. Gasol was signed to a two-year, $5.25MM contract in November.

We have more from the Pacific Division:

  • Clippers All-Star Kawhi Leonard was a late scratch in the team’s loss to Boston on Tuesday due to back spasms, Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN relays. Leonard, who felt discomfort during warmups, has missed eight games this season for a variety of reasons.
  • The Warriors have brought back guards Jordan Poole and Nico Mannion from the G League bubble for depth in their last two games prior to the All-Star break, according to a team press release. Poole averaged 22.4 PPG in 11 games for affiliate Santa Cruz and has also appeared in 15 NBA games this season. Mannion, a two-way player, averaged 19.3 PPG for Santa Cruz in nine appearances.
  • Poole’s presence is one reason why the Warriors aren’t interested in signing Jeremy Lin as a backup point guard at this time, according to Kendra Andrews of NBC Sports Bay Area. Lin has performed well with Santa Cruz but Golden State would have to make room for him on its roster. The Warriors’ preference is for Brad Wanamaker to regain the form he showed with Boston last season or for Poole to take over that role before adding Lin to the mix.

G League Notes: Ezeli, Lin, Tyree, Postseason

Veteran NBA center Festus Ezeli, whose playing career was jeopardized by health issues, is joining the Westchester Knicks for the home stretch of the NBA G League season, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times (Twitter link).

Ezeli, who appeared in 170 regular season games and 55 more playoff contests for the Warriors from 2012-16, hasn’t appeared in a game since the 2016 NBA Finals, as major knee and leg problems threatened to end his career. As Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle recently detailed, Ezeli hasn’t given up on making it back to the court — he’ll apparently get a chance to do so in the G League.

“I’ve put so much into this process, but this is my dream,” Ezeli told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated (Twitter link), confirming that he’s joining Westchester. “Chasing your dreams is worth every inch of the cost.”

Here’s more on the G League:

  • The G League is investigating a claim from Santa Cruz Warriors guard Jeremy Lin that he was called “coronavirus” during a game, as Nick Friedell of ESPN writes. In the Facebook post in which he made the allegation, Lin wrote that his generation of Asian Americans “is tired of being told that we don’t experience racism.”
  • Former Mississippi guard Breein Tyree, who was in camp with the Heat in December and was playing for the Raptors 905 in the G League bubble, suffered a torn ACL that will prematurely end his season, per Blake Murphy of The Athletic (Twitter link). Although he’s unable to play, Tyree is sticking with Toronto’s G League affiliate for the rest of the NBAGL bubble.
  • While it may seem like the NBA G League season just began, it’s already entering the final week of the regular season. The season will wrap up on March 6, with an eight-team, single-elimination tournament to follow from March 8-11. The G League Ignite, at 7-4, are currently tied for the No. 6 seed and will look to clinch a postseason spot this week.