NBA Rumors: Jeremy Lin return to Hornets possible as Al Jefferson may not get re-signed

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NBA, NBA Rumors, Jeremy Lin, Harrison Barnes, Orlando Magic, Serge Ibaka
Jeremy Lin (Photo Courtesy: Gene Wang/Flickr)

Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin has reportedly declined his player option and he will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. According to the latest NBA rumors, Lin can return to the Hornets especially if they don’t re-sign center Al Jefferson.

Chris Haynes of first broke the news on Twitter as free agency begins in less than four weeks. Many teams will be in pursuit of Lin after a stellar first season in Charlotte wherein he averaged 11.7 points and 3.0 assists.

As mentioned in a previous report, the Hornets will have several key free agents to retain besides the 27-year-old point guard. Their main priority is Nicolas Batum while Al Jefferson, Marvin Williams and Courtney Lee are also all out of contract.

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Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News reported last Sunday that many teams are expecting the Hornets will not try to re-sign Lin this offseason. He added that the Harvard alumnus may return to New York but with the Brooklyn Nets and their new head coach Kenny Atkinson.

However, Haynes pointed out that the Hornets are aiming to retain Lin as long as the money is right for both sides. Besides Charlotte and Brooklyn, the Asian-American guard has been linked with the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

Jeremy will likely command an annual salary ranging from $10-14 million as the NBA salary cap rises. According to Keith P. Smith of RealGM, the Hornets will be better off letting Al Jefferson go and re-sign both Lin and Marvin Williams.

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Lin has been great playing off the bench or alongside Kemba Walker while Williams will probably take a backseat to create more playing time for players such as Cody Zeller and Frank Kaminsky. Even though Jefferson was a big part of Charlotte’s history when Michael Jordan took over as owner, it is time to move on for both parties.

Photo Courtesy: Gene Wang/Flickr

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