Jeremy Lin

Free Agent Rumors: Bogdanovic, Hawks, Batum, Lin, Hernangomez

Sources remain confident that the Hawks are in a strong position to sign Bogdan Bogdanovic, according to Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Kirschner says he has heard that a deal for Bogdanovic could be in the four-year, $72MM range, which is the same ballpark identified by Brian Windhorst of ESPN earlier this week.

The Hawks are believed to still have about $20MM in cap room available, so they have the flexibility necessary to make a move for Bogdanovic. However, he remains a restricted free agent, so if they sign him to an offer sheet that would tie up their cap space for multiple days, they’ll want to be pretty confident that the Kings won’t match it.

Here are a few more free agency updates:

  • Veteran combo forward Nicolas Batum has already received interest from multiple teams, Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports tweets. The Hornets chose to waive-and-stretch the final year of Batum’s contract in order to sign free agent forward Gordon Hayward.
  • Point guard Jeremy Lin wants to return to the NBA and several contenders are interested, Alex Kennedy of Basketball News tweets. Lin spent last season in China, averaging 22.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG and 5.6 APG. Lin was recently spotted working out with Nets players, according to Kennedy, though it’s not certain whether Brooklyn is one of the teams showing interest. He played for the Hawks and Raptors during the 2018/19 season.
  • While Malik Beasley got a deal with the Timberwolves done quickly, the team appears willing to be more patient with its other restricted free agent. According to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic (Twitter link), Minnesota is letting the market play out for Juan Hernangomez to establish the parameters of his potential deal.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Pacific Notes: Clippers, Lin, Warriors, Staples

The Clippers‘ front office, piloted by president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank, will face some important choices once the offseason kicks off in earnest next week, writes Mirjam Swanson of the Orange County Register. Forwards Montrezl Harrell, Marcus Morris, and JaMychal Green, as well as reserve point guard Reggie Jackson, are all unrestricted free agents.

The Clippers may look to make an upgrade from Jackson. Lakers reserve point guard Rajon Rondo, who is expected to opt-out of his $2.7MM player option this summer, has been discussed as a candidate. The team might also make a bigger move, as Rockets All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook, a Long Beach native and former teammate of Clippers star forward Paul George, has recently sought a trade out of Houston.

There’s more out of the NBA’s Pacific Division:

  • Jeremy Lin was spotted working out on an indoor court on the University of San Francisco campus with Warriors players Stephen Curry, Eric Paschall, Kevon Looney, Marquese Chriss and Alen Smailagic, fueling speculation that the free agent point guard might get a look in Golden State, according to Marcus White of NBC Sports Bay Area. Lin most recently suited up for the Beijing Ducks of the CBA during the 2019/20 season. Originally from Palo Alto in Northern California, Lin averaged 22.3 PPG, 5.7 APG and 5.6 RPG for the Ducks.
  • In a recent conversation with reporters, Warriors GM Bob Myers commented that league interest in the club’s No. 2 pick this year was “fluctuating,” per Mark Medina of USA Today (Twitter link). The team still has a $17.2MM traded player exception left over from its Andre Iguodala deal in the summer of 2019. “I haven’t been told I can’t use it,” Myers said of the TPE, Anthony Slater of The Athletic tweets. “I haven’t been told I have to use it.”
  • Both the Lakers and the Clippers will kick off the 2020/21 NBA season without any fans at their home arena, the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, due to current COVID-19 restrictions on indoor gatherings in LA County, according to Kyle Goon of the Orange County Register.

Jeremy Lin Seeking NBA Return Following CBA Stint

After spending the 2019/20 season in the Chinese Basketball Association, veteran point guard Jeremy Lin is leaving the Beijing Ducks and will look to return to the NBA for the ’20/21 campaign (link via ChannelNewsAsia.com).

“This decision has really been the hardest in my life,” Lin said in Mandarin in a Weibo video. “… Every morning I would wake up at 4:00 or 5:00 am, thinking, thinking and thinking all the time. In the end, although (the Ducks) have treated me incredibly well … giving me everything I wanted, in the end, I feel that I still have NBA dreams. I still have time to play (there) and I have to chase this.”

Lin, who made his NBA debut in 2010 with the Warriors, spent time with eight teams in total over the course of nine NBA seasons, enjoying a breakout year with the Knicks in 2011/12 and winning a championship with the Raptors in 2019. He elected to play in China last season and averaged 22.3 PPG, 5.7 RPG, and 5.6 APG for the Ducks, earning a CBA All-Star nod.

It remains to be seen how much interest the 32-year-old will draw from NBA teams. He was a reliable contributor in 51 games for Atlanta in ’18/19, with 10.7 PPG and 3.5 APG on .466/.333/.845 shooting. However, after being bought out by the Hawks and signing with the Raptors, he recorded just 7.0 PPG and 2.2 APG on .374/.200/.810 shooting and fell out of Toronto’s rotation for the playoffs.

Lin, who is Taiwanese-American, said he cried when he told his family that he would be leaving China in an effort to make an NBA comeback.

Coronavirus Notes: Health Risks, Lin, LeBron, Facilities

Several NBA general managers are expressing concern over the safety of their coaching staffs and other personnel if the league resumes its season, writes Baxter Holmes of ESPN. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that the coronavirus presents higher risk factors to older adults and people with underlying health conditions, which will factor into decisions on who will be allowed into a “bubble” environment.

“Based on all the information that we have today, probably people over 60 with preexisting conditions can’t go, for sure, no matter what their titles are,” one general manager told Holmes. “Whether it’s a father of the star player or whether it’s the general manager of the team, they can’t go there.”

The NBA is considering a bubble concept, with all its games taking place in a central location such as Las Vegas or Orlando. We learned this week that players and coaches will be permitted to bring their families with them for however long it takes to finish the season. The executives Holmes talked to agreed that once the concept gets closer to reality, teams will be forced to make difficult decisions on who qualifies as essential.

“The one area you don’t want to skimp on is the medical,” a GM said. “The coaching part of it, you could probably get by with a head coach, that’s it.”

There’s more coronavirus news to pass along:

  • Former NBA player Jeremy Lin tells Steve Serby of The New York Post that life in China means constant testing for the virus as he waits for the CBA season to resume. “I got tested before quarantine and after quarantine,” Lin said, “and honestly, anywhere you go any time, every restaurant, every mall, everything everywhere, every time I enter my apartment, I get my temperature checked, too. They’re constantly monitoring.”
  • LeBron James has the most to lose if the season can’t be completed, writes Dan Woike of The Los Angeles Times. James has the Lakers on top of the Western Conference with a 49-14 record, and at age 35 he may not have a better chance to win another ring. Woike lists the Bucks, Clippers, Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni and the fans as other potential losers.
  • In case you missed it, some practice facilities can reopen Friday, but at least half of the league’s teams are in states where stay-at-home orders are still in effect.

New York Notes: Lin, Knicks, CP3, Nets

Although “Linsanity” represented one of the most memorable runs in recent Knicks history, Jeremy Lin‘s time in New York was ultimately short-lived. The point guard only appeared in 35 games for the franchise, departing in restricted free agency following his breakout 2011/12 season.

Revisiting his departure in a conversation this week with MSG Network broadcaster Mike Breen, Lin said he wanted to remain with the Knicks in 2012. New York encouraged him to find an offer sheet in restricted free agency, and he hoped the team would match it, as Marc Berman of The New York Post details.

“I was only offered one contract,” Lin told Breen. “We couldn’t get anything from any other team. And so, I had to go find a contract from somebody. And I remember when Houston gave the offer, I said to (my agent), ‘Can you tell Houston to lower the offer? This is too much. Can you tell someone to lower the offer?’ Because I wanted to go back to New York and I wanted New York to match.

“The time there, with the fans, everything. It was so special. I was like, ‘I need to go back to New York,'” Lin continued. “That’s where my heart is. So, I call my agent and said, ‘Hey, find a way to get out of Houston. Give me a less good contract so that New York will match it,’ and he said, ‘We can’t, this is Houston’s final offer and we’ve been talking to them for a week, two weeks, three weeks, this is it.'”

As Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), reporting at the time suggested that Lin was initially planning to sign a four-year, $28MM offer sheet from Houston, which the Knicks were expected to match. The Rockets adjusted it to make it a three-year, $25MM deal with a $15MM “poison pill” salary in year three. According to Berman, Knicks owner James Dolan was “bitter” about the reworked offer, believing it was Lin’s idea.

Here’s more on the NBA’s two New York teams:

  • Following up on a series of March reports which suggested the Knicks may have interest in trading for Chris Paul during the offseason, Ian Begley of SNY.tv proposes a pair of hypothetical trade scenarios and explores how they would impact the club’s cap going forward.
  • According to Alex Schiffer of The Athletic, there are some people within the Nets‘ organization rooting for interim head coach Jacque Vaughn to get the full-time job, though that may be a long shot given the names that have already surfaced as potential options. Michael Lee, Joe Vardon, and Sam Amick join Schiffer to debate the pros and cons of the Nets’ rumored coaching candidates and to suggest other targets for the club to consider.
  • Our latest roundup of Knicks notes was published on Wednesday night, with our most recent collection of Notes notes posted on Sunday. Be sure to visit the New York and Brooklyn team pages for all the latest updates on the two clubs.

And-Ones: G League Union, Brown, Lin, Terry

G League players will begin deciding on Saturday whether to form a union, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports. The National Basketball Players Association is assisting in the formation of a G League-governed union, Wojnarowski continues.

By creating a union, the players could bargain with the NBA and G League on issues such as housing, salary and travel, Wojnarowski writes.  A majority of G League players must sign an electronic authorization card for passage.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Five-star recruit Greg Brown turned down a $400K offer to join the G League’s professional pathway program and opted to sign with Texas, Jeff Goodman of GoodmanHoops tweets. Brown, a 6’9” power forward, could have joined fellow top recruits Jalen Green and Isaiah Todd in the program but decided to spend next season with the Longhorns. “Just not rushing the process … the NBA is always going to be there,” Brown told Goodman.
  • Some foreign players are essentially stuck in China until the Chinese Basketball Association decides whether to resume its season, former NBA guard Jeremy Lin told USA Today’s Mark Medina.  Lin has been practicing regularly with the Beijing Ducks. The CBA was expected to restart in April but those plans were shelved due to continuing concerns about players contracting the novel coronavirus. “We’re basically just waiting until June to decide whether we play in July or not,” Lin said. “That’s the current situation. We’re kind of in limbo right now.”
  • Longtime NBA player Jason Terry has accepted an assistant coaching position with the University of Arizona, Jason Scheer of 247Sports reports. The news regarding Terry, who played for the Wildcats from 1995-99, won’t be official for several weeks since the school currently has a hiring freeze.

International Notes: Lin, Germany, Turkey, Powell

Jeremy Lin posted a message to fans on Instagram as he returned to China for the resumption of the CBA season, relays Dario Skerletic of Sportando. Overseas players have come back to the nation and are undergoing a two-week quarantine before play resumes in the Chinese Basketball Association.

“Safely landed back in Beijing to finish out the CBA season,” Lin wrote. “Excited to hoop again, but leaving the bay worried and with a heavy heart for the sick, the jobless and all those fighting fear, anxiety and stress over the unknown future. Shoutout to our medical staff in the 50 states for working tirelessly and everyone keep doing your part in slowing the virus!

“It’s been an awesome 2 months camped out in the gym…basketball has never been more meaningful. The world needs basketball now more than ever. I still remember when I went through my toughest moments and worst injuries, you guys were there for me. I hope to return the favor. As all you beloved fans told me the day after my knee injury, keep fighting bc we’re #NeverDone.”

There’s more international news this morning:

  • Brose Bamberg in Germany is the latest team to permit its American players to return home, according to Nicola Lupo of Sportando. Former NBA guard Jordan Crawford is the most recognizable name on the roster.
  • All players from the Fenerbahce team in Turkey, along with coaches and staff members, have been tested for the coronavirus and a team manager in under observation in the hospital, writes Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. The roster includes former NBA players James Nunnally, Nando De Colo, Derrick Williams, Malcolm Thomas, Jan Vesely, Luigi Datome and Joffrey Lauvergne.
  • New Iona coach Rick Pitino, who had been coaching Panathinaikos in Greece since 2018 before recently leaving the team, tells Lupo that Seton Hall’s Myles Powell could have a bright future in the EuroLeague. He compares Powell to former Suns and Pelicans guard Mike James, who has become a star in Europe. “Myles Powell reminds me of Mike a little bit,” Pitino said. “Do I think he’ll be in the NBA? I think he’ll try out with a team, but I think he’ll be a terrific player over in Europe and make a lot of money and be very successful. Could he play in the NBA? I’m sure he could, but I don’t think he’s somebody you’re gonna say he’s definitely gonna make it, but he’s a very talented young man and I think he’ll get a good shot at the NBA.”

International Notes: Australia, China, Turkey, EuroLeague

After canceling the remainder of their best-of-five Grand Final series earlier this week due to the coronavirus pandemic, Australia’s National Basketball League announced today that the Perth Wildcats have been crowned champions for 2019/20. Perth was leading the Sydney Kings 2-1 in the series when it was canceled.

In a statement, NBL owner and executive chairman Larry Kestelman and commissioner Jeremy Loeliger explained the decision and announced that former standout Providence guard Bryce Cotton has been named the Grand Final MVP.

The NBL’s press releases this week have made it clear that the league’s decision to cancel the rest of the Grand Final series was made in large part because the Kings expressed they weren’t comfortable with continuing to play those games. Bogut, who said Sydney’s decision was made after “almost three hours of back and forth (and plenty of tears),” registered his displeasure with the way the NBL handled things.

“I want to go on record to say I am beyond embarrassed and disappointed in regards to how this was handled by our league from the week leading up to the Grand Final series. More to come at a later date re: that,” Bogut wrote in a Twitter note.This has nothing to do with the result announced today and I wish to congratulate the Perth Wildcats on being crowned Champions.”

Here’s more international news from basketball leagues around the world:

  • Jeremy Lin, Ekpe Udoh, and Antonio Blakeney are among the players who have now returned to China and will begin a two-week quarantine before returning to their respective CBA teams, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando (Twitter links).
  • The Turkish government has made the decision to suspend all sports in the country, including basketball, Carchia writes in a story at Sportando. Players in Turkey expressed dismay last week that games were continuing amid the coronavirus outbreak, as we noted at the time.
  • The EuroLeague issued an update on the postponement of its season, addressing whether or not players are allowed to leave their respective cities, what will happen with this year’s EuroLeague Final Four, and much more. Carchia has the full memo at Sportando.

International Notes: China, Russia, Poland, Japan

Earlier this week, a report indicated that Chinese Basketball Association teams collectively decided that foreign players who are under contract in the CBA and refuse to return to China will be banned from the league for three years.

With that being said, it seems as if several foreign players are heeding this warning and heading back, per Emiliano Carchia of Sportando

Some of the notable returning players are Jared Cunningham, Donatas Motiejunas, MarShon Brooks, Ty Lawson, and Jeremy Lin. Those players and others will quarantine for 14 days and get tested for COVID-19 upon returning to China.

The CBA’s season is set to resume play on April 15 with games reportedly taking place in Qingdao and Dongguan.

Here’s more on the international circuit:

Jeremy Lin Signs With Beijing Ducks

One of the top remaining NBA free agents will be heading to China for the 2019/20 season, as point guard Jeremy Lin confirmed today that he’s joining the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association (Twitter link). Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reported this morning that Lin had agreed to terms with Beijing and later tweeted that the signing was official.

Lin, who turned 31 last Friday, has spent the last nine seasons in the NBA, most notably emerging for the 2011/12 Knicks with an out-of-nowhere run dubbed as “Linsanity.”

Lin won his first championship this spring after joining the Raptors in February, though he struggled to match his usual production in a backup role in Toronto, recording 7.0 PPG and 2.2 APG in 23 regular season games (18.8 MPG) and playing sparingly in the postseason. Those averages were his worst since his rookie year and his .374 FG% would have been a career low.

His struggles with the Raptors likely limited the NBA market this summer for Lin, who expressed frustration in July about how his free agency was playing out, suggesting that he felt like “the NBA has kind of given up on me.”

Although he’ll leave the NBA for now, a strong showing in the Chinese Basketball Association could create a path for Lin’s eventual return stateside. CBA teams have been pursuing the veteran guard for much of the offseason, as his Taiwanese roots have made him a popular player overseas. We first heard earlier this month that Lin was in advanced talks with Beijing.

Former Jazz center Ekpe Udoh also signed with the Beijing Ducks this offseason.