Free agency came in early for Jeremy Lin of the Charlotte Hornets and Jordan Clarkson of the Los Angeles Lakers as rumors are swirling that the two talented playmakers are opting out of their respective contracts as they are considered underrated talents.
The 27-year old Lin has $2,139,000 base salary going towards the end of the season and with the Hornets’ season cut short after they bowed to the Miami Heat, Lin could be up for grabs this coming summer. Rumors are swelling that he is set to pack his bags and hit the road towards Chicago as a Lin-Butler tandem is in the making, but for the Harvard standout, he would want to stay and play in the Buzz City just as what he told the Charlotte Observer.
“I would love to. I don’t like moving every year, I don’t like packing and unpacking boxes. So we’ll see. But I’m definitely interested in coming back. This is the most fun I’ve had in my six years. Being around a great group of guys and a coaching staff that really cares. I’ve learned so much about the game of basketball, particularly at the defensive end,” Lin said.
He also indicated that he will be opting out of his contract with the Hornets to be able to get a long-term commitment from the team and stressed that he is even willing to take a pay cut just to play with the franchise.
“Honestly, money has never been the most important thing. Money is important because it shows how a team values you. But beyond that I don’t care all that much about money. Me coming here (for slightly more than $2 million a season) showed that. I’ve been paid on the lower end and had a blast, and I’ve been paid on the higher end and not enjoyed it at all,” Lin explained.
Lin’s commitment to the Hornets will be tested when other teams would lure with bigger paychecks starting July 1 and it will also show how committed the Hornets are in keeping him for another season.
Just like Lin, Jordan Clarkson is still young and has so much room for improvement. He is still in his second year with the Lakers and already he has become one of their offensive options behind superstar Kobe Bryant, who retired at the end of their regular season.
Clarkson is still mum on his plans but he is already hinting that he would want to come back as part of the rebuilding process of the Lakers and would want to show more of his skills both in and outside the court. Clarkson told the Los Angeles Daily News that he does not want to go outside of L.A. and is confident that he would be back for next season.
“I feel confident I’ll be back here. I want to be here. I want to be one of those guys that is not bouncing around from team to team. I want to be somewhere where I can come home and leave my mark or legacy or somewhere I can call home. I feel like this is the place I can do that,” Clarkson.
The 23-year old native of San Antonio, Texas admitted that he is trying to work on one of the departments where he lacks defense. He added that it is one thing that he will definitely work on all summer long to improve his game and not lose his playing spot in the Lakers‘ rotation.
Clarkson has a base salary of $845,059 and with his improvements over the season, it would not be so hard for teams to notice it as well. The Lakers have up to $60 million to spend this summer in both free agency and signing rookies from the draft and Clarkson will definitely vie for a spot to back with the Lakers.
Both Lin and Clarkson are very talented young players, though they are underrated they try to make up for what is lacking within them and not justifying it. Their ethics to towards the game is unparalleled and come free agency it will be a make or break for the two as both have expressed their willingness to stay with their respective teams, however, destiny will guide them through.
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