In the 2016 NBA free agency, the Brooklyn Nets gave Jeremy Lin a three-year, $38.3 million contract with the belief that reuniting him with coach Kenny Atkinson could help bring Linsanity back in the league. Unfortunately, the Asian-American guard failed to help the Nets end their playoff drought as he spent most of his first two seasons in Brooklyn dealing with injuries.
In the recent offseason, the Nets decided to part ways with Jeremy Lin by trading him to the Atlanta Hawks. The deal makes a lot of sense for the Nets. Aside from clearing salary cap space, it helped them address the logjam at their backcourt. On Thursday night, Lin and the Hawks played against the Nets for the first time in the 2018-19 NBA season.
Before the game, Jeremy Lin shared what he felt returning to Brooklyn as a former Net. Lin said that he’s happy to play again at Barclays center and see his former teammates and coaches. Lin also revealed some interesting details before the Nets-Hawks trade became official.
“There wasn’t really much to say. Obviously, I talked with him the morning after. But I think for me, I’ll be honest, I was really hurt, and maybe the way that things had happened was a little bit unexpected,” Lin said, via New York Post. “Maybe I didn’t even agree with everything, with what I was told or whatever. But at the end of the day, I understand it. It’s never like hard feelings. Everybody’s got to make a business decision. And I’m grateful for the two years that I had here. I grew a lot as a person mentally.”
On the latest episode of #WingingItPod, @mrvincecarter15, @24Bazemore, and @AnnieFinberg are joined by @ATLHawks teammate @JLin7 to discuss his journey from @HarvardMBB to the #NBA and answer fan questions https://t.co/yYgm2BOduh— The Ringer (@ringer) December 17, 2018
It’s easy to understand why Jeremy Lin felt that way. When rumors about the Nets’ plan to trade him circulated, Lin expressed strong confidence that he would remain in Brooklyn, saying that Nets general manager Sean Marks hasn’t told him anything about being dealt. However, a day after, the Nets sent Lin to the Hawks.
Despite what happened, Jeremy Lin doesn’t hold any grudge toward the Nets. Lin revealed that he still has constant communication with coach Kenny Atkinson and general manager Sean Marks. When he arrived in Atlanta, Lin already knew that his role would be to serve as a mentor to young point guard Trae Young, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
However, when the season is over, Lin will be needing to make a decision regarding his future. Lin is currently playing the final year of his contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. At this point in his NBA career, Lin will surely prefer to join a legitimate title contender than staying on a rebuilding team like the Hawks.