Point guard Jeremy Lin has essentially become a restricted free agent now that the New York Knicks’ season is officially over but the Knicks may not have the money to sign him to a long term contract. The only good news for the Knicks is that under league rules, Lin can only sign for a maximum of $5 million per season over the next two seasons.
That doesn’t prevent teams from offering Lin a longer contract paying him more after those first two seasons though. If the Knicks can’t compete with a team willing to sign him to a longer contract then that could be the end of the “Lin-sanity craze” in New York.
Besides, Lin and Carmelo Anthony never seemed to mesh on the floor together so Lin may be looking for an offense more tailored to his skills. With that in mind let’s take a look at a few teams that will be looking to add a little Lin-sanity to their offense:
Michael Jordan’s club definitely has the roster space and the salary cap room to sign Lin to the maximum amount allowed. Plus Lin doesn’t have to worry about any player overshadowing him in Charlotte the way he does in New York. It’s doubtful that Jordan would sign Lin but he needs to. The Bobcats need to sell tickets and Lin can help fill some of those empty seats at the Time Warner Cable Arena.
New Orleans Hornets
The loss of Chris Paul was felt this season as the Hornets struggled to get consistent play out of their point guard position. Although Lin is not on the same level as Paul, he does work well in the pick-and-roll and he loves to drive to the basket. The Hornets could use a point guard like Lin who will push the ball and this is also another team that could use a boost in ticket sales.
The Magic have been trying forever to pair up center Dwight Howard with a solid point guard and Lin would fit the bill. Lin has proven he can score in bunches and he knows how to find outside shooters which Orlando has in abundance. It also helps that Stan Van Gundy will be leaving. Van Gundy’s coaching style seems to stifle the creativity of ball-hogging point guards like Lin so it will help if the Magic bring in a coach who will loosen the reins more.
The Mavericks are growing older by the minute. Jason Kidd is 39 and Jason Terry will turn 35 before the start of the 2012-2013 season. The Mavericks were hoping that they could reload this season by signing one or more of the big free agents that were expected to be available this offseason but Chris Paul signed his player option in order to play for the Los Angeles Clippers and Dwight Howard signed one also. They may also be out of the running for Deron Williams so Lin may be a nice also-ran pickup for the Mavericks who will have plenty of money to spend.
Steve Nash may be on his way out so what better replacement than Lin? Lin thrived in Mike D’Antoni’s system and would have similar success with the Suns who still run D’Antoni’s fast-break offense. Lin would also give the Suns a solid young point guard to build with considering he is 15 years younger than Nash.
Where do you think Jeremy Lin will play next season?
Roosevelt Hall is an NFL Blogger for The Sport Mentalist and an NBA Blogger for The Sport Mentalist 2. He is also a Sports Reporter for Pro Sports Lives. He can be contacted at RHall_TPFB@Yahoo.com and be sure to follow him on Twitter @sportmentalist.
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