Jeremy Lin will play for his sixth team in seven years in the league. The NBA's favorite Harvard graduate has agreed on a contract with the Nets, according to ESPN's Marc Stein. The three-year deal is worth $36 million and includes a player option on the third year, with a trade kicker and bonuses, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical.
Lin was effective for the Hornets as a combo guard who could either play alongside Kemba Walker or handle point guard duties in limited minutes. He could be especially dangerous as a microwave scorer off the bench, as the Spurs and noted Lin fan Nelly found out back in March.
His 15-point fourth quarter helped propel Charlotte to the biggest comeback victory any team has mounted against San Antonio in the Tim Duncan era. Few players in the league have shared the kind of roller coaster experience Lin has in his six years as a professional.
Lin was the first Harvard alum to make it to the NBA since 1954 when he found a spot on the Golden State Warriors' bench in 2010. He bounced around the D-League and was waived by the Warriors and Houston Rockets before landing in New York, where he went absolutely ham as the 2011-12 season wore down.
Lin broke into the starting lineup of an undermanned Knicks team and scored 20+ points in six straight games to kick off a trend known across the NBA as "Linsanity." In the season's final 26 games, he averaged 18.5 points and 7.7 assists per contest to emerge as one of the league's hottest commodities and an unlikely savior in fantasy leagues worldwide.
That breakout campaign led to a three-year, $25.1 million contract that lured him from New York and back to Houston. He took over the starting point guard role with the Rockets, but Lin's stock dropped in Texas after he struggled to maintain the torrid pace that made him famous. Turnovers and his limited long-range shooting dropped him from the starting lineup, and he was traded to the Lakers along with a first-round pick in an obvious salary dump in 2014.
His numbers dipped in his only year with Los Angeles, but the Hornets swooped in to buy low on the hard-driving guard last summer when they landed him with a two-year, $4.3 million contract. A solid season in which he averaged 11.7 points and three assists per game for a 48-win team, coupled with a rising salary cap made opting out of the final year of his inexpensive deal an easy decision.
Now, he'll join a Nets team coached by Kenny Atkinson, Lin's favorite assistant coach during the Linsanity year with the Knicks. The Nets desperately needed help at point guard, so Lin will have a chance to earn the starting spot and could see a resurgence as a featured player on a talent-deprived roster. Brooklyn is in the middle of a tear down, recently moving Thaddeus Young. Lin and Brook Lopez are the only veterans on the roster at this point, so he will be expected to be a leader on and off the court.
The Nets seem like a good fit for Lin, who has built a solid career as the years have past. He will now have a chance to take another step forward and attempt to become a key cog in a rebuilding franchise in need of hope.