Jeremy Lin

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.

International Notes: Lin, Todorovic, Withey, Phillip

Former Raptors guard Jeremy Lin is in advanced talks with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, relays Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. The news was first reported by journalist Sonx Xiang of China.

We passed along a story earlier this week that several CBA teams were interested in adding Lin if he didn’t receive an invitation to an NBA training camp. He admitted that playing in China is an option he’s considering.

Lin, who will turn 31 on Friday, won his first championship ring after coming to Toronto in February. He was part of the rotation during the regular season, averaging 7.0 points and 18.8 minutes per night. However, his role was greatly reduced in the postseason, as he appeared in just eight games and averaged 3.4 minutes. He has played for eight teams in a nine-year NBA career.

There’s more international news this morning:

  • Marko Todorovic, who had his draft rights renounced by the Rockets earlier this month, has reached an agreement with the Tianjin Pioneers of the CBA, Carchia writes in a separate story. The 27-year-old center played in Spain last season for Joventut Badalona. The Trail Blazers selected him with the 45th pick in the 2013 draft and traded his rights to Houston.
  • Former NBA center Jeff Withey will play in Israel this season for Ironi Nes-Ziona, Carchia adds in another piece. Withey spent time in Turkey and Greece last year. He played for three teams during his five years in the NBA, most recently for the Mavericks in 2017/18.
  • Tarik Phillip, who was waived by the Wizards on Thursday, will play for Tofaş Spor Kulübü in Turkey, according to a tweet from the team. The 26-year-old guard signed with Washington at the end of the 2018/19 season, but didn’t see any game action. He spent most of the year with the Memphis Hustle in the G League, averaging 13.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, and 3.8 APG in 48 games.

Jeremy Lin Drawing Interest From Chinese Teams

Jeremy Lin has yet to secure a new contract for the 2019/20 season, and he doesn’t appear to be closing the door on the idea of signing with a team in the Chinese Basketball Association, writes Jonathan White of The South China Morning Post. According to White, Lin said during a recent appearance in Guangzhou that he’s keeping his options open.

“Of course I am thinking about the CBA,” Lin said. “I don’t know where I will be next year, so I don’t have expectations. I know what level I can play at, so if I don’t get that I won’t settle.”

In a separate story for the Morning Post, White relays a report from basketball reporter Jia Lei, who wrote on Chinese outlet Sina Sports that multiple teams have contacted Lin’s camp to express interest in bringing him to China. It’s not clear which CBA clubs are eyeing the veteran point guard, but Jia suggests Lin is weighing the possibility of a move to China.

Lin, who will turn 31 later this month, struggled down the stretch last season for the Raptors, averaging just 7.0 PPG and 2.2 APG on .374/.200/.810 shooting in 23 games (18.8 MPG). Those marks all ranked among the worst of his NBA career, and he didn’t see much action in the playoffs.

Still, Lin posted solid numbers for the Hawks in 51 games in 2018/19 before being bought out, recording 10.7 PPG and 3.5 APG on .466/.333/.845 shooting.

For an NBA team seeking point guard depth, there aren’t a ton of reliable options out there, with Lin and Shaun Livingston representing the best veteran free agents still on the board. If Lin remains patient, it seems likely he’ll catch on with an NBA team, particularly once injuries start piling up in the fall. However, if he wants to secure a deal sooner rather than later, he could be tempted by a larger role and a guaranteed salary in China or Europe.

International Rumors: Lin, Stauskas, Vaughn, Colson, Acy

Although he recently expressed frustration about how his free agency has played out, veteran point guard Jeremy Lin doesn’t appear ready to give up on seeking an NBA deal for the 2019/20 season.

A source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando that talks between Lin and EuroLeague powerhouse CSKA Moscow have broken down, with the 30-year-old turning down the Russian club’s interest. Lin remains interested in playing in the NBA rather than heading to Europe, according to Carchia.

Another free agent NBA guard, Nik Stauskas, is also resisting a move to Europe, according to Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas. Urbonas tweets that Stauskas has received offers from Russian and EuroLeague teams, but has rejected them. The former eighth overall pick finished the 2018/19 season with the Cavaliers, but is currently an unrestricted free agent.

Here are a few more notes and updates on players being courted by non-NBA teams from around the world:

  • Former first-round pick Rashad Vaughn is leaning toward accepting an offer made by Bosnian team Igokea, a source tells Carchia. The NBA journeyman, who played for Milwaukee, Brooklyn, and Orlando from 2015-18, spent the 2018/19 season in the G League.
  • Bonzie Colson‘s rumored deal with Turkish team Darussafaka is now official, agent Misko Raznatovic tweeted this morning. Colson finished the 2018/19 campaign on a two-way contract with the Bucks, but was recently waived by Milwaukee.
  • Israeli and EuroLeague club Maccabi Tel Aviv is eyeing NBA big man Quincy Acy, a source tells Carchia. Acy has logged 337 career NBA regular season appearances, but saw action in just 10 games in 2018/19 when he signed a pair of 10-day contracts with the Suns.

Atlantic Notes: Gasol, Lin, Poirier, Erman

Raptors center Marc Gasol is thankful that the Grizzlies didn’t agree to his request not to be traded, relays Alex Madrid of Eurohoops. Gasol had been with Memphis for more than a decade before the team committed to rebuilding and sent him to Toronto in a deadline deal. The move led to Gasol collecting his first NBA championship ring.

“There have been few players that haven’t been traded over the years in the NBA,” Gasol said. “If it had been dependent on me, I wouldn’t have been traded. I always thought I could reverse the situation there (in Memphis) and bring the team to the top. But, thank God, they ignored me.”

Gasol will be part of the remaining foundation as the Raptors try to stay in contention without Kawhi Leonard. The 34-year-old will earn $25.6MM this season in the final year of his contract.

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Jeremy Lin appears distraught about his free agency situation in a video tweeted by Daily Sports Dosage. “Free agency has been tough,” Lin says. “Because I feel like in some ways the NBA has kind of given up on me.” The Raptors signed Lin in February to provide backcourt depth, but he shot just 37% in 23 games and was barely used during the playoffs.
  • French center Vincent Poirier could have made more money in Europe, but he wanted the challenge of playing in the NBA, tweets Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports. Poirier was the EuroLeague’s top rebounder last season, and the Celtics believe his athleticism will translate well.
  • Former Celtics assistant Darren Erman will become head coach of the organization’s G League affiliate in Maine, according to Jay King and Jared Weiss of The Athletic. Known as a defensive specialist, Erman has spent the past four seasons with the Pelicans.

And-Ones: Lin, James, Harrison, Williams

Point guard Jeremy Lin has received an offer from CSKA Moscow, according to Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Lin is one of the biggest names remaining on the NBA free agent market but has received little interest following a disappointing stint with the champion Raptors. He was expected to be a rotation player in the playoffs after reaching a buyout with the Hawks but only appeared in eight postseason games during the title run, averaging 1.1 PPG in 3.4 MPG. Lin, 30, has appeared in 480 NBA games.

We have more international basketball news:

  • Olimpia Milano is looking to part ways with former NBA guard Mike James, Carchia tweets. The Euro team signed another former NBA point guard, Shelvin Mack, on Thursday to essentially replace James. Head coach Ettore Messina informed James there’s no playing time available with the addition of Mack. James played a combined 36 games with the Suns and Pelicans during the 2017/18 season.
  • Guard Aaron Harrison will remain in Turkey with Galatasaray, his agent told Carchia (Twitter link). Harrison, 24, last appeared in the NBA with the Mavericks, playing nine games during the 2017/18 season.
  • Former Suns and Nets forward Alan Williams will likely sign with Russia’s Lokomotiv Krasnodar, Lithuanian journalist Donatas Urbonas tweets. Williams, 26, played five games with Brooklyn last season.

Free Agent Stock Watch 2019: Eastern Conference

Every week, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents next offseason. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. With the playoffs underway, we turn our attention to the Eastern Conference:

Michael Carter-Williams, Magic, 27, PG (Up) – Signed to a one-year, $60K deal in 2019
Carter-Williams was scrounging for work six weeks ago after getting traded from Houston to Chicago in early January and then immediately getting waived. The former Rookie of the Year had to settle for 10-day contracts with Orlando before he was signed for the remainder of the season. Not only did he help the Magic reach the playoffs, he’s been one of their main cogs off the bench against Toronto. He posted 10 points, five rebounds and two assists in Orlando’s Game One upset. Carter-Williams has played well enough to receive offers commensurate to other veteran backup point guards.

Glenn Robinson III, Pistons, 25, SF (Down) – Signed to a two-year, $8.35MM deal in 2018
With Blake Griffin sidelined by a knee in the first two games against Milwaukee, Robinson got one last chance to convince the Pistons that they should exercise their $4.3MM option on him for next season. Robinson has been utilized as an undersized power forward in the series but his perimeter shooting woes have continued. After shooting just 29% from deep and falling out of Dwane Casey‘s rotation during the regular season, Robinson has made just one of his eight 3-point attempts in the first two games. Robinson will assuredly return to the free agent market this summer.

Pat Connaughton, Bucks, 26, SG (Up) — Signed to a two-year, $3.36MM deal in 2018
Connaughton’s modest salary of $1.723MM for next season becomes guaranteed if he’s still on the roster July 1st. That already seemed like a good bet heading into the postseason; now it’s a no-brainer. He’s taken advantage of an expanded role with Malcolm Brogdon and Tony Snell sidelined by injuries. Connaughton has been a difference-maker against Detroit, averaging 14.0 PPG on 73.4% shooting and 8.5 RPG in 29.5 MPG. He also recorded four blocks on perimeter shooters in Game Two. He’ll be one of the league’s best bargains next season.

Jeremy Lin, Raptors, 30, PG (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $487K deal in 2019
Lin chose the Raptors after agreeing to a buyout with the Hawks in mid-February. The expectation was that he would bolster the playoff rotation behind Kyle Lowry. But Lin has had trouble finding his footing in Toronto and with Fred VanVleet healthy, he has been the odd man out in the postseason. He never left the bench in the Game One loss to Orlando and played four meaningless minutes in Game Two. Lin should still find work this summer but he’ll likely have to settle for something close to the veteran’s minimum.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Atlantic Notes: Raptors, Celtics, Horford, Knicks

Fred VanVleet returned to the Raptors‘ lineup at the right time, suiting up for the team on Sunday for the first time since injuring his thumb before the All-Star break. As Michael Grange of Sportsnet.ca details, Toronto threw VanVleet into the deep end in his return, playing him for 31 minutes in a tightly-contested loss to Detroit, and the club was at its best when he was on the floor.

VanVleet won’t be relied upon to play quite as significant a role once Kyle Lowry is ready to return from his ankle injury, but Jeremy Lin‘s struggles since joining the Raptors last month have highlighted VanVleet’s importance, Grange notes.

In 15 games since he arrived, the Raptors have a -5.9 net rating when Lin plays and a +12.9 rating when he sits. With VanVleet back in the rotation and Lowry nearing a return, Lin’s role is in danger of being cut back significantly as the postseason approaches.

Here’ more from around the Atlantic:

  • Although he only played for the Celtics for three seasons, it felt like 15 based on the love he was shown by fans in Boston, Isaiah Thomas tells Adam Himmelsbach of The Boston Globe. Suggesting that he’ll always consider Boston home, the veteran guard said he wouldn’t close the door on returning to the Celtics at some point. “You never know,” Thomas said. “You can’t predict the future. My options are always open for anybody. I’m a Denver Nugget now, but I’m a free agent at the end of the season, and you never know what can happen. Who knows?”
  • Over the weekend, Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters, including Chris Forsberg of NBC Sports Boston (Twitter link), that the club plans to sit Al Horford for three or four games down the stretch. Horford’s impact has been a little inconsistent this year, which is due in part to nagging injuries, so the C’s want to make sure he’s ready for the postseason.
  • Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been frequently linked to the Knicks this season, while they’ve had contentious exchanges with the media nearly just as frequently. In a column for Newsday, Steve Popper wonders how Durant, Irving, or any other star who signs with the Knicks this summer would handle the pressure and expectations that would face them in New York.

Raptors Notes: Lin, VanVleet, Kawhi, Green

When the Raptors landed Jeremy Lin on the buyout market last month, it looked like a perfect fit. Toronto had just lost backup point guards Fred VanVleet (to injury) and Delon Wright (in a trade), opening the door for Lin to play a key role off the bench. However, the veteran hasn’t looked comfortable with the Raps so far — entering today, he was a minus-46 in 140 minutes and made 0-of-17 three-point attempts, as Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca writes.

“We’ve gotta get him more comfortable,” Raptors head coach Nick Nurse said. “He’s just a little uncomfortable with me, I think, more than anything. I like to let those guys [have freedom]. I say to him, ‘Jeremy, hey, call something. You know, you get the ball in your hands and you look like you don’t know what you want to do out there.’

“I say, ‘You don’t have to look at me, just call this, this or this, pick one.’ He’s got to get a little more comfortable. Even though I’ve tried to shorten it down to three things, he’s so new that he can’t quite come up with one. I need to give him more help. I need to give him more help until he’s more comfortable with that.”

Lin admits that he has more freedom in Toronto than he’s accustomed to, suggesting that he hasn’t had this sort of “empowerment” since he played for Mike D’Antoni in New York, as Lewenberg relays. The 30-year-old welcomes the opportunity to return to that style of play.

“That is kind of how I always played,” Lin said. “I was always more of a free space, free-flowing playmaker. That’s just kind of who I am by nature. That’s my personality. That’s probably what attracted me to this team and obviously vice-versa. We got to just make the pieces fit and [we] will.”

Here’s more on the Raptors:

  • The Raptors’ bench will get some reinforcement when VanVleet returns, and according to Lewenberg (via Twitter), he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery from a thumb injury. Nurse expects VanVleet to return to Toronto’s rotation at some point within the next couple weeks.
  • Appearing on the Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective podcast, ESPN’s Michael C. Wright reiterated a point he’s made before, suggesting that he doesn’t believe Kawhi Leonard is interested in heading to the Lakers to play alongside LeBron James this offseason. “I do not,” Wright said, per RealGM.com. “That’s just what I’ve been told. It’s what I’ve been told going back to last summer. I don’t see that as something that’s happening. … I think he goes to the Clippers.”
  • While Leonard’s free agency will be the biggest storyline in Toronto this summer, his longtime teammate Danny Green will also be an unrestricted free agent, and Green’s impact on the Raptors this season shouldn’t be overlooked, writes Dan Feldman of NBC Sports.

Atlantic Notes: Butler, Pelle, Carroll, Lin

Despite the bizarre way their time together in Minnesota ended, Jimmy Butler insists he still has a good relationship with former Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, relays Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times. Butler was campaigning for a trade prior to the season, when he reportedly engaged in outlandish behavior at a Wolves practice. Butler wound up getting dealt to the Sixers and Thibodeau was fired shortly afterward, but Butler said they have remained on good terms.

“I’m sure Thibs would tell you like I tell you. I’ll take all the blame. I’m sure he’ll say he’ll take it too,” said Butler, who added that Thibodeau called him before tonight’s game. “Somebody got to point the finger at somebody. But like I tell everybody, Thibs is a big part – and you can tell I’m smiling – because it’s the truth, he’s a big part of who I am today as a player.

“He gave me an opportunity after not letting me play at all my first couple of years [with the Bulls]. But then he saw something in me, and he let me rock a little bit. That’s my guy. He’s always in my ear talking to me about the game. To tell you the truth, believe it or not, he talked to me about life. He does.’’

There’s more tonight from the Atlantic Division:

  • Power forward/center Norvel Pelle has played well for the Sixers‘ G League team in Delaware and may get a shot at the NBA, tweets Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philly. A Sixers official said Pelle was given a workout today so the team could take a closer look at what he can offer. Injuries have left Philadelphia in need of frontcourt help.
  • The Nets have benefited from DeMarre Carroll‘s willingness to accept a reserve role, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post. Carroll had started all but five games in his first five years in the league and has Brooklyn’s second-highest salary at $15.4MM, but he agreed to the move to help the team. “It was an opportunity for me to see how I can impact the game, watching it from the side first,” he said. “I think that was the biggest thing, to get used to it, to get comfortable to it and embrace it. That’s what I tried to do.”
  • The addition of Jeremy Lin hasn’t worked out for the Raptors so far, says Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. Lin has missed all 17 of his 3-point shots since coming to Toronto and is shooting 30% overall. Smith notes that the return of injured guard Fred VanVleet should help the bench unit, but that’s still projected to be a couple of weeks away.