When Jeremy Lin declined his player option worth $2.24 million with the Charlotte Hornets, he was just asking for a little attention and now the Hornets brace themselves as they are about to lose Lin via free agency as rumors are swirling that a return gig with the New York Knicks looks appealing to him.
With only days ahead of the start of the free agency, it is only now that the Hornets have expressed their desire to re-sign the 27-year old point guard out of Harvard University.
Lin had previously told everyone that he is willing to take a salary cut with the Hornets just to return next season days after he opted for free agency. It was supposed to be a hint for the Hornets to step up with their talks with Lin as they were deadly serious in bringing back all of their free agents for next season.
Aside from Lin also in the free agency list of the Hornets include Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Courtney Lee, and Al Jefferson. With the salary cap having a $24 million increase for next season, the Hornets will have their phones and officials busy in talking to get them to re-sign with the team.
However, another problem with the Lin deal is that the Hornets do not own his Larry Bird rights and getting a deal with Lin will surely eat up their cap space as well. With Lin as an unrestricted free agent, the worst case scenario is that they will lose him via free agency.
In an interview at the World Economic Forum held over the weekend, Lin stated that he has been a traveling man and wants to find a stable city and team that will value his skills more than his worth financially.
In his tenure with the Hornets, Lin averages 11.7 points, 3.0 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game coming off the bench. He hopes that his numbers would speak for themselves as teams would try to strike a deal with him.
“I’ve played six 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.
Lin added that he will try to exhaust every opportunity come July 1 and said that he is even open to the opportunity of making a return to New York, where his “Linsanity” erupted big time. Although he openly said that a spot with Derrick Rose will be of a major concern in terms of playing time, but he is still open to the idea of playing with the 2011 MVP.
“It’s not looking likely because they just traded for Derrick Rose. But I will say, ever since I left I’ve 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 it’s the best timing. But if it happens, it happens,” Lin explained.
No word from the Knicks yet if they are considering of having a “Linsanity” version 2.0 for next season although other teams such as the Brooklyn Nets have also wanted to get Lin’s services even before he signed with the Hornets. It will surely be an interesting free agency season for Lin as the Hornets will try to pitch for him to return to their fold or will they lose him via free agency to either the Knicks or Nets.
Photo Courtesy: nikk_la/Wikimedia