Jeremy Lin has opted out his $2.2 million player option with the Charlotte Hornets and rumors are swirling that Lin might be pursued by the Houston Rockets again making a reunion with his former mentor Mike D’Antoni.
At age 27, Lin is no stranger to being a free agent having been a journeyman himself. He signed with the Golden State Warriors back in 2010 after he was undrafted. He would then be released by the Warriors and ended up playing with the Reno Bighorns in the NBA D-League. He had a brief stint with the Dongguan Leopards in China then went back to sign with the New York Knicks in 2011 that gave birth to the “Linsanity” under the guidance of D’Antoni.
He also played back in the NBA D-League and play for the Erie BayHawks and then moved on to sign with the Houston Rockets then to the Los Angeles Lakers before signing with the Charlotte Hornets.
And now he is back being a free agent. By the looks of it, D’Antoni might give him another chance under his wings on the Rockets roster. However, Lin has some bad memories with the Rockets as he was traded to the team after two years of stay as the team failed to see the “Linsanity” fever during his stint with them. But it could change since D’Antoni will be at the helm and that could be an assurance for Lin to listen to their offer if the Rockets do pursue him this summer.
The paycheck will not be a problem for Lin as the Harvard standout has stated that he is in for the game and not for the money. D’Antoni and the Rockets must make their move as early as now since other teams are looking forward to acquiring his services and that includes the New York Knicks, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Hornets as well.
Lin has mentioned before that he is willing to negotiate with the Hornets as he would want to come back and play for the team. Lin together with other free agents from the Hornets namely Nicolas Batum, Tyler Hansbrough, Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee, and Marvin Williams have all expressed their willingness to come back but it will depend on how much the Hornets are offering and if their salary cap can accommodate all the offers this summer.
Many believe that a reunion of sorts for Lin and D’Antoni might work magic for the Rockets as Lin could unload the pressure on James Harden, which could make him an even more deadly “go to guy” on the court. The tandem could also provide the much needed run-and-gun type of system that D’Antoni worked with Lin during their historic time with the Knicks.
Aside from the reunion storyline, Lin is also looking for a starter role that could further boost his playing credentials and with D’Antoni calling the shot in Houston, there is a great possibility that this could play out once the free agency season formally begins on July 1.
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