The Houston Rockets have officially introduced Mike D’Antoni as their new head coach heading into the 2016-17 NBA season. In a recent interview, D’Antoni hinted who will be his first signing in free agency and it may be former Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin.
The Rockets gave the 65-year-old a three-year, $15 million deal and Houston will be his fourth team in his career as a head coach. He previously coached the Phoenix Suns, New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers.
Related NBA Rumors: Jeremy Lin to get four-year, $56M contract offers this offseason?
In an appearance on SportsTalk 790 The Bottom Line with Adam and Season, D’Antoni praised his former player Lin, who he coached during his tenure with the Knicks. In 2012, the 27-year-old guard had a breakout stretch that captivated the world that was called “Linsanity.”
“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. Nobody says that. Nobody says we were 10-1, or 9-1, with Lin,” D’Antoni said.
The 2005 NBA Coach of the Year added that Lin was a great player during his run with the Knicks and called “Linsanity” unbelievable. According to Paper City Magazine, D’Antoni is not breaking any NBA rules and regulations because he was just giving an opinion on a player.
“I hear he’s available, by the way. Jeremy. We won’t get into that,” he said.
Jeremy Lin is expected to opt out of his current deal with the Charlotte Hornets and become an unrestricted free agent for the second-straight offseason. He had a very good season with the Hornets and he has expressed his interest in staying in Charlotte.
Related NBA Rumors: Jeremy Lin to re-sign if Hornets free up cap space via trade?
However, many teams view him as a quality point guard who can start while some can make him a very reliable sixth man. The interview with D’Antoni did not reveal any plans but it is obvious that he is open to having a meeting with Lin and his representatives.
Besides the Rockets, teams such as the Hornets, Knicks, Lakers, Brooklyn Nets, San Antonio Spurs and Philadelphia 76ers have been linked with Lin. As mentioned in a previous report, he can get a deal in the range of four years worth $56 million.
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