The Brooklyn Nets wanted to build their team around Jeremy Lin, but the star point guard was hampered by injuries. He sustained a season-ending knee injury during their season opener, which will likely force the Nets to go into a different direction next season.
Lin is expected to fully recover from a ruptured patellar tendon in time for the 2018-19 NBA season. However, Zach Collura of Nothin’ But Nets said that the Nets will have big decisions to make about their guard rotation. He thinks that Lin will have a hard time getting a starting role after playing just 37 games in his first two seasons in Brooklyn.
While Lin is projected to be fully healthy by the start of next season, there will be question marks about his durability. It also remains to be seen how his injuries will affect his style of play, considering the fact that he is the type of player who relies on quickness.
Aside from his injury history, the Nets appear ready to move forward with D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie as their top two guards on the roster. Russell is having a decent season in his first year with the Nets, while Dinwiddie has been a revelation for Brooklyn this season.
Russell, who was shipped to the Nets in the deal that sent Brook Lopez to the Los Angeles Lakers, is averaging 15.7 points and 4.9 assists per game this season. On the other hand, Dinwiddie is posting 13.0 points and 6.9 assists. It was a big jump from his numbers last season, when he averaged just 7.3 points and 3.1 assists for Brooklyn.
Collura added that the emergence of Caris LeVert might hurt Lin’s stock in the long run. The second-year guard is also showing a lot of promise this season, and at 6-foot-7, the former Michigan standout could eventually create mismatches for Brooklyn in the future. He is averaging 11.9 points, 4.0 assists, and 3.7 rebounds this season.
Lin is in the second season of his three-year, $38.3 million contract with the Nets, according to Spotrac. He will become a free agent in 2019, and it remains to be seen whether or not he will get another lucrative paycheck because of his injury history.
Russell and Dinwiddie will also hit free agency in 2019, and the Nets will likely prioritize signing both of them before addressing the future of Lin in Brooklyn. It is also worth noting that Brooklyn will finally have a draft pick in 2019, which might land in the lottery unless they make a surprising run next season.