Jeremy Lin is still searching for his next NBA home, and one report says that the veteran guard’s declining athleticism may be hampering the quest for a new contract.
Lin was relegated to the bench for the Toronto Raptors as the team won its first NBA title, playing only 27 minutes over the course of the entire playoffs and only one minute during the NBA Finals, Marc Stein of the New York Times noted. The report said this was a harbinger that the impending free agent Lin would have a difficult time finding a new home, and that has come true as Lin has lingered for weeks on the open market with no apparent progress toward a new deal.
“The reality is that Lin’s movement, at nearly 31, isn’t what it once was,” Stein noted. “Teams are unsure if he still has the mobility to play such a demanding position.”
Though he may not be as explosive as he once was, Lin still has an advantage over the remaining guards in the free agency pool, Stein noted. He has plenty of experience in a number of roles, as both a starter and a bench player, so it’s likely he won’t stay a free agent for that long. But as Stein noted, Lin may have to wait until the season starts and injuries force an opening with a yet-to-be-determined team.
Jeremy Lin himself doesn’t seem that optimistic. As the Los Angeles Times noted, he opened up about his free agency struggles during an appearance this weekend in Taiwan. He lamented about his inability to sign with a team, sounding almost despondent about his turn of fate in the NBA.
“In English there’s a saying and it says once you hit rock bottom, the only way is up,” Lin said as he struggled to fight back tears. “But rock bottom just seems to keep getting more and more rock bottom for me.”
Lin still seems to have support across the league, with former teammate Trae Young releasing a statement saying how much it meant to learn under Lin’s wing during their time together with the Atlanta Hawks.
Jeremy Lin has been beset with injuries over the course of his NBA career, including in his breakout season with the New York Knicks when he surged into the national conversation with a string of amazing performances, sparking the term “Lin-sanity.” He has struggled to regain that high, bouncing around a series of teams and falling out of starting rotations.