Jeremy Lin is the brightest star among journeyman NBA players. Lin occupies a special place with fans that even a throwaway year under Byron Scott in Los Angeles never dimmed. Perhaps no player ever had an introduction like Lin had in New York in 2012 — a perfect storm of offense that created a national fever called Linsanity. But the well-known — and somewhat tired — backstory. Because finally Lin’s present seems as exhilarating as his past. A free agent after a very strong campaign in his first year with the Charlotte Hornets, Lin is looking for a place where his “journeyman” label can be put to rest. Lin’s looking for three things: 1) playing time. 2) title chance. 3) chemistry and culture.
A strong guard who can penetrate and score, last season Lin also erased two erroneous knocks on his game: that he was turnover prone and couldn’t play great defense. Charlotte’s strong season and playoff run saw those two errors exorcised. Lin’s particular skill set is much in demand just now as the NBA tries to recreate the magic of Golden State with its penetration, pick and kick, and high-assist-rate offense. Here are the top 5 spots where Lin could have a major impact:
- Charlotte Hornets — a good fit that should only get better, with a coach who appreciates him
- Houston Rockets — he’s been here, was respected, and they need to upgrade after dismal falloff (plus D’Antoni)
- New York Knicks — it’s hard to say they’ll contend soon, but new coach Hornacek a good fit
- Chicago Bulls — plenty of guards and maybe not enough minutes, but close to contending
- Philadelphia 76ers — also far from contention, but in a weak East could rise fast. Minutes aplenty