Jeremy Lin is once again a free agent after declining his one-year player option with the Charlotte Hornets worth $2.2 million.
Charlotte G Jeremy Lin will decline $2.2 million player option to explore unrestricted free-agency, league sources inform @clevelanddotcom.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 7, 2016
Lin enjoyed success off the bench with the Hornets last season, averaging 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 3 assists in 26.3 minutes per contest. Those numbers are pretty much in line with his career averages, although his stats have trended downwards since his breakout 2011-12 season with the New York Knicks.
Lin signed a 2-year deal with Charlotte worth a little north of $4 million last year following stints with the Rockets and the Lakers. The guard has had difficulty living up to his first contract following the Linsanity craze — a backloaded 3-year $25 million deal. He was initially hailed by both of those clubs as the team’s future starting point guard, but eventually fell out of favor with both franchises. When Lin — making nearly $15 million in the final year of his contract — struggled to get minutes for a 21-61 Lakers squad, the market for his services was understandably dry.
However, the Hornets snatched up Lin at a bargain price and the 27-year-old proved to be a valuable contributor to a playoff team. Entering his prime earning years, Lin will look to command a good deal more than he was paid last season. The NBA salary cap is also set to rise by approximately $20 million this offseason, so Lin is looking at a pretty hefty pay raise in free agency.
Lin may have a shot at a starting role with a non-contender but has also expressed a desire to remain in his current role with the Hornets. Lin’s decision is unlikely to alter the championship race, but he is still a popular player and his decision is an interesting subplot heading into free agency.