Jeremy Lin is many things ... He is the only NBA player of Chinese ancestry. He is also the only NBA player with an Ivy League degree -- economics from Harvard -- and the only NBA player (we know) who scored an 800 on his math SAT. So, he's more than capable of realizing the wisdom of opting out of a $2.2 million player option when there's all that money out there.
Thus, he is and will be the subject of rumors and speculation linking him to the Nets, who are in desperate need of a point guard (or two) and could have as much as $45 million in cap space.
Adi Joseph of The Sporting News writes Monday morning that if Lin wants a big contract, a starting job, his most likely destinations are Philadelphia and Brooklyn. The reasons are obvious, Joseph notes. Both need PG's and both have a coaching connection with Lin.
Two obvious starting jobs beckon: the 76ers’ and Nets’, the worst and third-worst teams in the NBA. Lin has strong ties to both coaching staffs from his "Linsanity" run with the Knicks. Mike D’Antoni, then New York’s head coach, is now a 76ers assistant, while Kenny Atkinson, then D’Antoni’s assistant, is now the newly hired Nets head coach. Lin frequently credits both coaches with his early-career success
What about Charlotte? Joseph notes that Lin, being such a smart guy, has to realize that Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, who missed 75 games with a bad shoulder this season, will be back and likely to take a lot of the minutes he played next to Kemba Walker. Moreover, the Hornets top priorities in free agency start with Nicolas Batum and Marvin Williams. Since Charlotte doesn't have Lin's Bird Rights, they are further cramped in offering him a big deal.
At season's end, on Wednesday, Lin said all the right things about wanting to return to Charlotte, about how much fun he had in Charlotte, but in a post on Facebook Thursday, there was more realization that at 27 he has to be smart about his career choices.
"For free agency, I will seek out every opportunity that gives me the greatest chance to be the best player I can be," he wrote. "I believe I'm just getting started. I have more to give and more to accomplish."
Of course, the question in Brooklyn is how much interest do the Nets have in Lin? It shouldn't be long before we know that. It's abound to be among the first questions asked of Atkinson at his introductory press conference.
Jeremy Lin may have to decide between happiness and fulfillment in free agency - Adi Joseph - The Sporting News