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No hard feelings, says Jeremy Lin, but trade hurt nonetheless

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NBA: Atlanta Hawks at Brooklyn Nets Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Lin said all the right things in his first visit to Brooklyn after being traded to Atlanta by by the Nets on the night of July 13. He’s happy in Atlanta, and it was great to see his teammates ... but he admitted his sudden departure still stings.

“I’ll be honest,” Lin said. “I was really hurt. Maybe the way things happened was a little bit unexpected. Maybe I didn’t agree with everything, with what I was told. But I understand it. It’s never hard feelings. Everybody’s got to make a business decision.”

The day before the trade, Lin had told The Post he hadn’t heard anything from Sean Marks about being traded so he assumed he was safe ... which in reality was odd. After all, he had missed 127 games out of 164 games over two years; was part of a logjam at the point; was about to to turn 30 and was still rehabbing from a ruptured his patella tendon. Not to mention that in July, things have a tendency to change quickly.

So, after midnight of the next day, July 13, Lin and his $12.5 million expiring contract were shipped out in a salary dump. The Nets sent Lin, a 2025 second rounder, and the right to swap picks in 2023 to Atlanta for a heavily protected Blazers’ second in 2020 and the draft rights to Isaia Cordinier, a 6’5” French shooting guard, which the Nets specifically asked for. And a lot of cap space.

Using that cap space, the Nets then traded Isaiah Whitehead for Kenneth Faried, Darrell Arthur, a moderately protected (1-12) Nuggets’ first in 2019 and their unprotected second in 2020. A week later, they turned around and traded Arthur to the Suns for Jared Dudley and the Suns lightly protected second in 2021. Arthur, who had an undiagnosed medical issue, was waived by the Suns.

Indeed it’s a business and indeed, a good series of deals. Things came together. It happens.

Lin says all is good now with Marks, Kenny Atkinson, his longtime mentor: and his remaining teammates.

“As sad as it is when I think of Brooklyn, obviously, I just think of a lot of injuries and things like that,” Lin told the media pre-game. “It’s quite a contrast to being healthy, being able to participate in a game. Very grateful, very thankful, got to see a lot of familiar faces. A lot of my Nets guys have been just keeping in touch with me and checking in with me the whole season, staff, coaches, players, everything. It’s been awesome. It kind of feels like a reunion of sorts...

“I appreciated my time here, and Sean has texted me this season, Kenny has texted me this season, and we have kept in touch.”

Lin spoke as well about his friend, Taiwanese-Canadian businessman Joe Tsai, who bought 49 percent of the Nets last year and is scheduled to take control of the franchise in 2021.

“I think he’s very passionate, I think he’s really smart and I think he wants to do things the right way. So I’m a fan of what he’s been doing and the things that I’ve heard. That was before and after the trade,” Lin said.

“What I think he means for the organization and NBA in general I think it’s great to have Asian representation: I’m always all for that...”