Uncertainty surrounds Lin’s NBA future

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Asian-American NBA star Jeremy Lin is weighing up one of the most important moves of his career. On the back of a dismal season, the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to be ringing the changes during this offseason as they look to work their way back on the NBA map after two seasons without reaching the play-offs. For Lin, though, it’s looking increasingly likely that the 26-year-old will leave Los Angeles when the free agency opens in two months. That will end what has been something of a disastrous season for both Lin and the Lakers.

Despite ranking as the 26th best point guard in the NBA last season, there are already a number of teams interested in signing the Harvard graduate. Lin fans will be hoping to see their hero back smiling on a court again soon. That is something he hasn’t been doing on a regular basis for a long time. Lin, who spent time playing in China in 2011, has established himself as an icon to many Asian-Americans and the former Golden State Warriors player boasts a global fan-base to match many of the NBA’s biggest stars. 

Following his move from the Houston Rockets last summer, the Lakers picked up Lin’s $15 million contract for the 2014/15 season. With such a sizeable wage comes a great deal of scrutiny, and after a bright start to life on the West Coast, Lin found himself benched by head coach Byron Scott in favour of Ronnie Price. Rather than the player who burst on the NBA scene in 2011/12 with the New York Knicks, the Lakers witnessed a Jeremy Lin who has lost a lot of his confidence after a tough few seasons in which he has failed to come close to living up to his early hype. A combination of his massive contract and his disappointing form has made Lin something of a huge elephant in the Lakers changing room this season, and a parting of ways looks the best move for all parties concerned.  

Ever since his ‘Linsanity’ days with the Knicks, the point guard’s career has been on a steady decline. The real turning point for Lin appears to have been the departure of Mike D’Antoni as his head coach in New York, That was a key factor behind his decision to make the move to Houston on the back of his incredible 2011/12 campaign. Lin’s two seasons in Texas were modest if not exceptional, with the point guard helping the Rockets into the play-offs in both seasons he was at the franchise before being traded by the Lakers. Seventy-four games later and Lin is on the move again, ending his time in LA with an average of 11.2 points, 4.6 assists and starting 30 games. 

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So where could Lin end up this summer? A lot could depend on whether or not D’Antoni ends up with the Denver Nuggets. If the former Knicks head coach lands the Denver job, as many NBA betting fans feel will happen, he may push for the franchise to make a move for Lin when his former charge enters the free agency. D’Antoni was the one coach who has gotten the best out of Lin during the point guard’s time in the NBA and on the surface this looks as though it could be what the point guard needs to rediscover his best form. But the Detroit Pistons and the Brooklyn Nets are both rumoured to be interested in Lin this summer and the 26-year-old could have a number of offers on the table despite his problems in Los Angeles last season.

Nick Bedard (@bedardnick) is the editor-in-chief of Basketballbuddha.com.

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