Golden State Warriors

Would the Bay want Jeremy Lin back?

Linsanity may be over, but point guard Jeremy Lin is still garnering offers from teams this offseason.

According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Lin is meeting with the Houston Rockets to discuss signing as a free agent. Lin is currently a restricted free agent, so the New York Knicks would have the opportunity to match any offer he is given. However, the Knicks are in a tough spot because of the luxury tax and are afraid that signing Lin may push their books to an uncomfortable financial level. New York could offer Lin a pretty hefty contract of four years and $24.5 million, but other teams could go as high as four years and $40 million, which is a figure that Knicks could not afford.

Although Lin has not expressed interest in returning to his former team, the Warriors are his local club. A native of Palo Alto, CA, Lin was cut by the Warriors before emerging as a star in New York. Last season, he finished the year averaging 14.6 points per game and 6.2 assists per game, but those numbers were much, much higher in his first ten games in the starting lineup.

Linsanity simmered after a few weeks, but Lin did prove that he can be a legitimate point guard in the NBA. However, teams are still not sold on him, especially the Knicks.

Broussard also points out that the Knicks have said they will let the market dictate Lin’s value, which is a smart move considering teams (and fans) still don’t know what to make of him.

The Warriors could not afford to give Lin a $40 million deal (or even a $24.5 million deal, for that matter), but they may be able to find a way to offer him something after moving players around, as they are expected to do.

Nate Robsinson, a big contributor at point guard late in the season, is an unrestricted free agent and it is unlikely he will return. As a result, the Warriors do not have a point guard behind Stephen Curry (who isn’t much of a point guard himself, really) and Charles Jenkins. Jenkins is not guaranteed a contract next season, but the Warriors have expressed interest in keeping him. Still, someone will need to play point guard, especially with Curry’s constant injury concerns.

On the other hand, the Warriors have an abundance of small forwards, so players of that position will likely be traded. Richard Jefferson has a very rich contract (over $10 million for the next two years each), but it is unlikely that he will be moved for that very reason. Dorell Wright is the name most people think the Warriors will move due to his reasonable contract and his falling out of favor with head coach Mark Jackson.

But even if the Warriors could move players around and get finances together to offer Lin a contract, would a) the Warriors benefit from it b) Lin want to sign with Golden State and c) the fans want to see Lin return.

a) Lin did not succeed with the Warriors before, so it’s unclear (as it always is) if he would succeed in Golden State now. When Linsanity captivated the NBA, a lot of fans chimed in saying that Lin just needed the opportunity to play for the Warriors, which he never got.

That may be true, but something to note is that Lin turned the ball over 126 times last season. His turnover-assist ratio was .583, so for every two assists Lin turned the ball over once. Nate Robinson, in comparison, will get way less money on the market, but his turnover-assist ratio was .325 last year. For a point guard, turnovers and assists may be the two most important statistics, so by this analysis Robinson would be a better choice than Lin, and that doesn’t even take financials into account.

b) Little is known of Lin’s feelings towards the Warriors, but simple intuition would seem to be that unless he wants to play for his hometown team, he doesn’t owe the Warriors anything. They cut him and let him go, and he went on and proved them wrong. End of story.

c) This is where it gets tricky. The Warriors are notorious for letting go of players, via waivers, free agency, or trade, who then go on to have great careers. Wilt Chamberlain, a draft pick that was used on Kevin McHale, Chris Webber, Gilbert Arenas, Vince Carter, the list goes on and on. It’s tough when the franchise you root for lets go of players who become great.

Jeremy Lin, many people thought last season during the Knicks’ win streak, was going to be the latest addition to that list. But the jury is still out on whether or not Lin can be a starter for any team in the NBA after he cooled off as the season progressed. It would be another tough one to stomach if Lin was successful with the Knicks, Rockets or some other team after leaving the Warriors. On the other hand, if Lin comes back to Golden State and is miserable, that may hurt even more.

What do you all think? Should the Warriors even reach out to Lin? Is it worth it? Could they get him at a discount since it’s his local team? All good questions. Let us know in the comments section.

14 Comments

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14 Comments on "Would the Bay want Jeremy Lin back?"

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650Athletics
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650Athletics

no. i rather get a veteran pg like J kidd.

Stan
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Stan

Yes. You leave out he’s beloved by a large part of the bay area..one that doesn’t care about his turnovers if the team is winning.
NY wasn’t the power it was with Lin and Fields gone or benched. Lin has intangibles..a winner.

Bay Area Duck Guy
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Bay Area Duck Guy

That’s fair. But would those turnovers really translate to victories? The Bay Area would like to have him back since they like him, but wouldn’t it be even worse if he came back, did horrible, and then fans complained about the money the Warriors paid him?

Stan
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Stan

That would be worst case scenario BADG. I’m an optimist..plus,you have to admit,every year-almost every game- Lin raises his level. He’s not done improving I would bet.

Bay Area Duck Guy
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Bay Area Duck Guy

I always root for the local guys, so if he keeps improving (even if it’s on a team I despise), I’ll be happy for him.

Gamesix
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Gamesix

Linn should read Lin, I think?

Bay Area Duck Guy
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Bay Area Duck Guy

You’re absolutely right. I’m not sure what happened in the post as the title was spelled correctly. Must have auto-corrected or something. Should be all fixed now. Sorry about that, and thank you for pointing it out.

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

Without a doubt! Bring him in -but only at fair market value.

BA Rich
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BA Rich

No. All hype. Had a good streak but then came back down to reality.

Ryan Leong
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Ryan Leong

ESPN took grief for using a racist headline but its obvious that his ***** in the armor are his high number of turnovers.

Paperback Writer
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Paperback Writer

That’s weak.

Couldn’t you say his game is marred by a high number of turnovers?

Bay Area Duck Guy
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Bay Area Duck Guy

You may be right, but aren’t less turnovers still better than more?

Otis Byrd III
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Otis Byrd III
I would welcome Lin back, if he decides to come back to the Warriors! He would be good insurance for Curry just in case Curry gets injured again, and he could start in a pinch, as we saw this past season with the Knicks, instead of having to rely on Jenkins for the starting PG duties, even though Jenkins wasn’t really that bad starting at PG this past season for the Warriors, filling in for Curry. I’m sure the Knicks will bring Lin back though. He’s a star in NYC. You know the Knicks will not hear the end of… Read more »
DCYL
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DCYL
If you go to a web site dedicated to jeremy lin (won’t reference an outside website here), there was quite a debate. There are some who said that Jeremy Lin never got a chance with the Warriors during his rookie year. If he did, he would have shown his skills. Even though I am a Jeremy Lin fan, I disagreed with that assessment. Jeremy Lin, as a rookie, was not quite ready for the NBA. He showed flashes of defense but his handles and passing were shaky. What I will say is that Jeremy Lin was SCREWED when the lockout… Read more »
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