The Charlotte Hornets have some very difficult decisions to make this offseason including re-signing backup guard Jeremy Lin to a new deal. According to the latest rumors, the Hornets could make a trade to free up cap space to be able to sign Lin.
As mentioned in a previous report, Charlotte’s top priority this offseason is re-signing Nicolas Batum and then worry about other free agents such as Lin, Al Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Courtney Lee. The Hornets had a great second half of the season and they were just a win away from making it to the second round of the NBA playoffs.
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Michael Jordan’s team will have roughly $39 million in cap space but Batum will likely receive a max contract. Lin, Lee and Williams are expecting a raise following a great season while Jefferson will probably receive a smaller deal due to his age and decline in production.
According to Adam Greer of Swarm and Sting, the Hornets could trade someone like Jeremy Lamb to create more cap space. Lamb will have $7 million salary next season as part of the three-year, $21 million deal he signed last November.
The 24-year-old posted career highs across the board but he faded towards the end of the season after a very hot start. He played sporadic minutes and in garbage minutes after struggling at the start of 2016.
A $7 million salary for a player like Lamb is not absurd considering the cap salary spike next season but it may be better used on re-signing Williams and Lin. The Hornets have a player like Troy Daniels that can take up the role of Lamb on a cheaper contract.
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Williams is a good small ball power forward who can rebound, defend and shoot threes. On the other hand, Lin proved that he found his perfect role with the Hornets following a seventh place finish in the Sixth Man of the Year voting.
The 27-year-old Asian-American guard has expressed his interest in taking a pay cut just to stay in Charlotte. Nonetheless, Lin will be a hot commodity when free agency starts on July 1.
Photo courtesy: Instagram/jlin7