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.