After bouncing around the NBA for much of his career, free agent Jeremy Lin hopes to find a place to call home this summer. “I’ve played 6 years, in the NBA, I’ve played on five different teams. I’ve played for two D-League teams — so seven cities in six years. I’m tired of boxes, I’m tired of moving companies and I want to find a home,” Lin said in an interview with the World Economic Forum over the weekend.
During the World Economic Forum interview, Lin was asked if he'd consider a return to the Knicks, who will have at least $30 million to spend in free agency. "It's not looking likely because they just traded for Derrick rose," Lin said. "But I will say that ever since I left, I've always been open to going back and I still am. Never say never, that's the one thing in the NBA, never say never. So I've always been open but right now, I'm not sure if it's the best timing. But if it happens it happens."
Another factor in free agency for Lin? Finding the team that can help him reach his full potential, he says. "I want to see how good I can become," Lin said in the World Economic Forum interview. "I'm 27 and an athlete's prime, or at least in the NBA, your prime is usually 27-30. That's when you kind of peak physically (and) mentally and that's where most players perform their best. So I'm going into my prime and I want to see how great I can be as a player and that's my purpose in free agency so I'll just exhaust every opportunity to see which one will be the best for me."
Facing a Wednesday deadline, Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin declined to opt in on a $2.2 million player option for next season, making him an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, league sources say. Lin, who turns 28 in August, averaged 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3 assists over 26.3 minutes per game in his only season with the Hornets. He signed a two-year, $4.3 million contract with Charlotte last July, but the contract contained an early termination option that Lin triggered to explore free agency.
"Everyone knows that I'm a free agent. The most important thing for me is that I want to be happy. And of course, it will depend on whether I am a starter and how much playing time I get. I will take all that into consideration," said Jeremy Lin in Mandarin in an interview with local media after arriving in Taiwan on Friday as part of his annual Asia tour.
Chris Haynes: Charlotte G Jeremy Lin will decline $2.2 million player option to explore unrestricted free-agency, league sources inform @clevelanddotcom.
It’s not a strong crop of free-agent point guards, with Memphis’ Mike Conley leading the top tier. Resurgent Rajon Rondo, Carmelo Anthony’s choice, is next, but some in the organization believe he hangs onto the ball too much. Brandon Jennings, D.J. Augustin, Ty Lawson, Jeremy Lin, Miami’s unsung Tyler Johnson, Aaron Brooks and Mario Chalmers are also free agents. Sources have indicated the Knicks consider Lawson’s off-court issues too big a risk and Lin’s defense too gaping.
The new coach clearly has a vision — and he may be already looking toward a certain free agent point guard to help execute it. Minutes after leaving the main press conference room, D’Antoni brings up Jeremy Lin — unprompted — in one of his first side interviews. “With Linsanity we had 11 games, if I’m not mistaken, where we were the No. 1 defensive team in the league (with Lin as the point guard),” D’Antoni says in response to a 790 AM question. “Nobody says that. Nobody says we were 10-1, or 9-1, with Lin.”
D’Antoni goes on to call Linsanity “great” and an “unbelievable, little run.” The coach is not tampering or skirting NBA rules. He knows the regulations and understands free agency is more than a month away. When a radio host notes, “I hear he’s available, by the way. Jeremy,” D’Antoni chuckles. “We won’t get into that,” he says, grinning. So sure, D’Antoni brings up Jeremy Lin only n relation to his experiences with the Knicks. Technically. But the love for Lin’s game — and, perhaps, an underlying message — comes through loud and clear.
7 seconds or Less: If you had to guess do you think Lin stays in Cha or goes to NY? Steve Kyler: I think he'd like to stay in Charlotte, but money is going to win out and Charlotte has an issue there.
Charlotte, with $48 million in guaranteed contracts and $66 million in free-agent cap holds, will not be able to sign all five players, who will be coveted by teams overflowing with cap space. The odd man out is likely going to be Lin. With Lin opting out of his contract – and with non-Bird rights – Charlotte will have to use cap space to sign him. To create room, Charlotte would need to address Batum, Jefferson, Lee and Williams before circling back to Lin. The large cap holds have Charlotte over the salary cap.
"If you asked me would I be interested in coming back, there's no question in my mind — it's a resounding yes," Lin said. "I would be very interested in coming back."
Rod Boone: Jeremy Lin said he "absolutely" wants to return to @Charlotte Hornets. Said he'd even take a discount and this season was most fun he's had in @nba.
NetsDaily: As we wrote: league source told me Lin's likely to go back to Charlotte. He likes it a lot. Uncertain how Nets feel
Lin demurred, too, when asked about the coming summer, whether he might opt out and what he might seek. He noted it would be disrespectful to the Hornets organization and his teammates to discuss personal business during this postseason run.
Several teams could use his services. The Brooklyn Nets’ hiring of the Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Kenny Atkinson to coach their team next season led some media outlets to speculate on whether Brooklyn could be an attractive destination for Lin. Atkinson was an assistant with the Knicks during the Linsanity days.
The Nets were interested in Lin last summer, offering him a multi-year contract, based on the Mini-MLE, league sources.tell NetsDaily. That would have meant a starting salary of $3.4 million, but Lin's team wanted a deal starting at $5+ million. The Nets moved on, splitting the MiniMLE between Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington. Lin had to settle for a two year deal, starting at $2.1 million.
Atkinson's player development is clearly a big reason why he was hired, but what about his ability to recruit free agents like Lin? Atkinson is well-respected around the league and Brooklyn's situation isn't as frowned on around the league as fans might assume. Is Lin the Nets long term answer at point guard. You would have to assume no, but no one had faith in the undrafted Harvard man like Atkinson did in 2011 either.
One of the top point guards coming off the bench this season. Lin has found a nice role with coach Steve Clifford. Player option with non-Bird rights means Charlotte will have a hard time affording him.
Jeremy Lin announced just hours before NBA players can sign contracts that he will join the Charlotte Hornets. A source confirmed to ESPN.com that the contract is for Charlotte's biannual exception -- two years and $4.3 million.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Jeremy Lin's deal with the Charlotte Hornets will be two-years, $4M-plus, league source tells Yahoo Sports.
The Dallas Mavericks are firmly in the mix to sign free-agent point guard Jeremy Lin, according to league sources. Dallas has limited funds to offer, but sources told ESPN.com that Lin is giving the Mavericks strong consideration even though he can likely make more money elsewhere. Lin's relationship with Mavericks forward Chandler Parsons from their days as teammates in Houston, sources said, has kept Dallas in the race despite its lack of financial flexibility. Parsons, of course, had a huge hand in the recruiting of DeAndre Jordan to the Mavericks in the richest free-agent score in team history.
Alex Kennedy: Sources say that the New York Knicks have reached out to Jeremy Lin. This lines up with my report from Sunday. twitter.com/AlexKennedyNBA…
Chris Mannix: Another name on Sacramento's radar, per source: Jeremy Lin.
September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update
“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
When asked directly about Irving’s vaccination status — or his plans to change it — multiple people familiar with his thinking declined to answer directly. But one confidant and family member floated to Rolling Stone the idea of anti-vaxx players skipping home games to dodge the New York City ordinance… or at least threatening to protest them, until the NBA changes its ways.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”
In their sit-down interview back in August, Durant and Green rehashed the incident and how it ultimately affected KD’s decision to leave the Warriors. Surprisingly, KD claimed it wasn’t the beef itself that pushed him away, but the way Steve Kerr, Bob Myers and the front office handled things. “It wasn’t the argument,” the former Warriors star said. “It was the way that everybody … Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that would put a mask over everything. I really felt that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s— all out.”