WHAAAT?! Jeremy Lin Joins the Charlotte Hornets

Like everyone, my initial reaction to the news that Lin is joining the Hornets is: WHAAAAAAAAT?!

On paper and from an outsider perspective, who doesn’t know anything about the Hornets, this looks like a pretty terrible signing. Why would Lin want to go to a bottom-feeder team and back up a guard who, one could argue, he should be starting over?

Based on the damage that the Lakers did to Lin’s reputation, I was pretty pessimistic about Lin’s FA, so I guess in this sense this signing wasn’t too much of a surprise. At the same time, Lin signing with the Hornets is a total shock to me (and everyone else). The Hornets wasn’t even among the many teams linked with Lin in FA news.

It’s disheartening to think that the Hornets deal is the best offer Lin got. Aside from the playing situation (i.e., back up role on an awful team), the terms of the deal are pretty awful, since Lin is locked in for two years on a minimum salary.ย  But no use dwelling on it. Lin appears to feel pretty good about it, because he feels that the Hornets coach understands his game. From what little I’ve read about the Hornets coach, Clifford, he does seem like he could be a good coach.So, we’ll see. Clifford is also very much a defensive-minded coach, so if he’s smart and doesn’t buy into the partly racial bias that Lin is a bad defender, then Clifford should appreciate Lin’s game. But we’ll have to see.

Overall, I just don’t know enough about the Hornets to really have a strong opinion about this whole situation. The thing I hate the most about it is that it looks like Lin will be backing up Walker, who I think is not as good of a point guard than Lin. I mean, Walker only averaged a pathetic 5.1 assists as a starter for the Hornets last season. Of course, Hornets’s bad offense is partly to blame for the low assist numbers. That being said, Lin managed to average 4.6 assists playing only around 25 minutes last season on like the worst team in the NBA in full tank mode.

The best scenario is that Lin somehow will start alongside Walker, but it looks like the Hornets are intent on having Lin run the second unit. So the only realistic best scenario is that Lin gets 30+ minutes a game. But that’s also highly unlikely.

There’s a good chance Lin fans will witness another season of tanking or something like that, since the Hornets have no reasonย  to really try to compete. I don’t think the Hornets will tank on purpose, though, but they’ll lose a lot of games and be pretty frustrating to watch. They are in the East, though, so if they play Lin the right way and let Lin start, then the Hornets will be able to compete. But they’re likely not going to start Lin, so I’m prepared for another pretty frustrating season of seeing Lin’s team lose a lot.

In short, I’m not expecting much this season, but hope to be pleasantly surprised, since the Hornets is pretty much a blank slate to me. The only upside I see about this whole situation is that the Hornets coach looks like he could be good. So I think it all hinges on whether or not this coach believes in Lin. If so, then it could be a really fun season to watch.

About JLintel

NOTE: On June 11, 2016 I switched the comments section to Disqus's platform. As a result, all comments from previous platform have disappeared from all articles.
  • MrPingPong

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Lin’s FA team selection, Philosopher!

    BTW, please remove the Lakers jerseys from the blog page and replace them with Hornets #7. Yes, Lin will be wearing #7 again to match with his JL7 signature.

  • MrPingPong

    Dear Old & In the Way:

    I apologize for not responding quickly enough to your questions about my views on Lin’s landing with the Hornets. I’ve been busy all day with work. First, would you please take a deep breath, then smile? And get away from that ledge, will you? ๐Ÿ™‚

    I had to smile because my Ouija board was right! I stated that Lin might end up playing for MJ’s team, and that his FA team selection would be a surprise to all. So I smiled when the NBA app on my cell phone beeped me that Lin decided to join the Hornets, surprising everyone in Lin fandom. ๐Ÿ™‚

    More seriously though, let me try to explain the “anatomy” my optimism.

    1. I am happy because for the first time in his career, Lin finally has a chance to pick the team of his own choosing. And I am so proud of the way he has handled himself during this whole FA process. Lin explained his decision on his Facebook site and took the time to respond to quite a few questions raised by his fans. I read all of his responses. Let me cut/paste a few of them here.

    Hendra Wijaya Why Hornets????

    Jeremy Lin ๆž—ๆ›ธ่ฑช My free agency goals were to find the right fit and a place where I could be most empowered to be the player I believe I can be. After having multiple discussions, Charlotte was the obvious choice!
    ———————————————-

    Shin Fu COME BACK TO MAVS!!!!!!

    Jeremy Lin ๆž—ๆ›ธ่ฑช Gotta go where they want me! Charlotte and Coach Clifford made it clear they really wanted and believed in me.
    ———————————————-

    Michael Zhu care to share your thought process on joining the hornets? i personally felt like you would have a bigger role on the mavs and possibly become the starting PG since your competition would only be JJ barea (who i think you’re better than and would beat out for the starting PG spot). whereas on the hornets, you’ll be playing behind kemba and be in a seemingly lesser role.

    Jeremy Lin ๆž—ๆ›ธ่ฑช My number 1 priority was finding the best opportunity to get the most minutes playing my style of play. Wont get too much into it, but Charlotte was by far the best choice. Spoke to Coach Clifford for a couple hours and really understands my game. I feel like he will bring out the best in me.
    ————————————————

    Lawrence Chun You really fucked the mavs over

    Jeremy Lin ๆž—ๆ›ธ่ฑช What you read from the media isnt always the full story
    ————————————————

    Greg Lau Will you be backing up Kemba or doing more shooting guard? Hornets could use both I think.

    Jeremy Lin ๆž—ๆ›ธ่ฑช They want me at both the 1 and the 2, as well as running lots of pick and rolls. Great fit and opportunity!!
    ————————————————

    Roddy Beasant Strahan Leaming he better not replace Kemba

    Strahan Leaming he wont, but why not go back to the knicks he played better in that team.

    Jeremy Lin ๆž—ๆ›ธ่ฑช No intention of doing that at all. Respect his game and plan on doing damage playing alongside him
    ————————————————

    So, as you can see, Lin knew what he was getting into by choosing the Hornets. We do not know all the behind-the-scene stuffs in his FA negotiations. But Lin is an intelligent person and is well capable of deciding what’s best for him, under the circumstances. I am just happy for Lin. And that one reason why I smile.

    I do have more reasons to smile, but I gotta go now. I will write more later. Take it easy friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks for your optimism and passing along all the great info, MrPingPong, as usual!

      Yeah, your Ouija board was dead on!

      I’m ready to be pleasantly surprised this season.

    • MrPingPong

      OK folks, here is another reason for me to smile.

      2. As pointed out by PistolPete below, the Hornets collection of guards is rather weak. Let me elaborate on this a little bit here. In the 2014-2015 season, Kemba Walker (PG) and Lance Stephenson (SG) were the starting guards. Stephenson turned out to be a disaster and was replaced by Henderson (who incidentally was a starter in the 2013-2014 team that made the playoffs). Then Walker got injured and Mo Williams was brought in to fill the void. Mo Williams, Stephenson, Henderson are all gone now, leaving the Hornets with third stringers like Troy Daniels, Jeremy Lamb, P. J Hairston and Brian Roberts.

      As Rich Cho, the Hornets GM, put it, Lin was brought in to add a โ€œdifferent dimension to the point guard spot.โ€ Based on what Cho said in the conference call to the media about Lin signing, Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer projected a depth chart with Lin leading the second team:

      http://www.charlotteobserver.com/sports/nba/charlotte-hornets/article26864698.html

      RealGM projected a slightly different depth chart with Lin playing along side with Kemba:

      http://basketball.realgm.com/nba/teams/Charlotte-Hornets/3/Rosters

      In any case, I am highly optimistic that Lin will be called upon to play significant and consistent minutes, just like Mo Williams last season. This is what Lin needs in order to show his abilities and shine! And I am very happy with that. Do you remember last season in LA when Lin’s second team was outscoring the first team? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Anyway, I gotta go now. More later. Have a great weekend everybody, wherever you are on this WEB! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Yep, the more I think about it, the more I am optimistic about Lin being able to play significant minutes (and hopefully play his game) with the Hornets. That’s probably the biggest thing that attracted Lin to the Hornets. So i think this is going to turn out to be a fun season for Lin fans, as long as the Hornets don’t bring in anyone else who would take away Lin’s minutes, which is highly unlikely.

  • pistolpete

    So Jeremy you’re signing for 2 million a year to back up a point guard for a poor team that couldn’t even make the playoffs in the weak East?

    That was my first reaction but looking at their roster and reading about how Jeremy hit it off with the coach I started to feel more optimistic. In following Jeremy’s career one thing is glaringly obvious – your relationship with your coach can make or break your career. I just hope that Clifford was not snowing Jeremy to get cheap insurance for Kemba. I don’t think so however from what I read he seems like a good coach and a decent man.

    The other thing is that the other shooting guards and point guards on the team seem weak and that should enable Jeremy to get plenty of playing time. Last year Mo Williams another point guard managed to get 30 minutes a game of playing time. Of course they could make a trade for another guard before the season (we all remember Harden) but I don’t think they have much to offer.

    I hope Jeremy can opt out of his contract after 1 year but I haven’t heard this is the case. Once again I’m cautiously optimistic going into next season and I have confidence in Jeremy’s decision based on his intelligence and character. Let’s hope for the best!

    • old & in the way

      I, too, did some research on Coach Clifford as I knew absolutely nothing about him and it did seem to me that he could possibly be a good coach for Jeremy as long as he is an honest man and is not bullshitting Jeremy like BS did early last season. BS turned out to be full of BS. I hope Clifford does not also turn out to be full of BS. We can only hope. What a long, strange trip though for Mr. Jeremy Lin and those of us who truly care about him and his well-being. I want him to prosper. I want the NBA establishment to stop “fucking” with him and to start treating him like the premiere athlete that he actually is. If Clifford is an honest man, Jeremy will be fine. But if he is not an honest man it will be another long and excruciating year for Jeremy and those of us who are following his career. Peace to Jeremy and peace out.

    • Good point about Mo Williams, pistolpete! That makes me feel more confident that Lin will get 30+ minutes next season. I’m also glad that Lance Stephenson is no longer with the Hornets. He seems like a total head case and a distraction. I think the roster they have now maybe better for Jeremy Lin and at least the Hornets don’t have too many superstar egos. I don’t know much about Kemba Walker, but hopefully he won’t feel threatened by Lin.

  • old & in the way

    One of the most disconcerting aspects of this is that Jeremy Lin is the lowest paid player on the entire Hornets’ roster at $2.3 million per year. If Patrick Beverley is worth $7.2 million per year which is allegedly what Houston is offering him, then Jeremy is worth at least $8 million per year as he is clearly in my view a much better player than Beverley. So he is playing for only a little more than 25% of his true value. I have never seen a professional athlete treated as badly as Jeremy has been treated by the NBA up to now. This stinks and takes much of the pleasure out of following Jeremy’s career or at least degrades the experience of being his fan. I know already, of course, that on this planet “life is not fair,” but the disrespect that Jeremy receives from the racist NBA is absurd and ridiculous. He is the lowest paid player on the Charlotte roster which is a kind of cruel joke. Where is Carmelo Anthony now with his “ridiculous contract” comments. What could be more ridiculous than this? He may not have been worth $25 million over 3 years although I think he was, but he sure as shit does not deserve to be the lowest paid athlete on the Hornets’ roster either, does he? Hell no and I’m damn pissed about the way he continues to be treated by this horrid league.

    • MrPingPong

      Sadly, all the GMs out there have bought the narrative that Lin is only a good backup PG. They only approach Lin with whatever little money they have left on the table, after they have filled their rosters with key players.

      Lin has very options in his FA, unfortunately. But the silver lining in all of this is “with low pay comes low expectation!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ And Queen City is buzzing with the signing of a backup point guard! How ironic is that? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Forthelin

    Like many others, I was surprised as well, but if Lin was okay with it, I’m okay with it. I enjoy watching Lin play and I am a big fan, but I am also a realist. Lin is an unusual, unconventional player. He needs the ball in his hands to be effective, but he is not a player that a team can be built around. He is actually a better player now than when he lit the world on fire, but the problem is simply that many coaches do not know how to use him. Do you give Lin the ball, or do you give Harden the ball? Or Melo? Or Kobe? It is much easier to go with what you know, so the demand for Lin is probably limited, and that is reflected in his new contract. Lin is clearly a capable rotation player, but unless the stars align again, he may not be the superstar that we Lin fans have hopes for. I was hoping that the Warriors would sign him, and I think they would like to have him, but having Lin means having a great deal of scrutiny that comes with his popularity as well as a media circus from Asia and from some irrational Lin fans. I am not so sure the Warriors welcomed that kind of distraction.

    I do not know enough about the Hornets to hazard a guess on how Lin will do. I will follow him, root for him, and root for the Hornets. Go Lin!!

    • Great insights about the dilemma that Lin presents to coaches/GMs! I totally agree with that analysis.

  • Chirico

    The old & in,
    I wonder where you got the information regarding to his contract with the Hornets.

    Now his contract is not disclosed yet.
    i hear you if he is ended up being the lowest paid Hornets then I would say screw this League. NBA and the racist folks in the circle indeed lost respect from the rest of the World. What Is much worse than pathetic pay that Lin got this coming year is the ugly fact that NBA’s narrow minded business model that is no where near kindergarten kids interaction.

    • old & in the way

      Dear Chirico:

      Nice to see you back here after a long absence. Hope you are doing well. My source on Jeremy’s salary is coming from the ESPN website. If you go to “teams” in the NBA section and click on Charlotte/roster you will find there the salaries of all the players and our “dear friend” Jeremy is the lowest paid player on the Charlotte roster. A real bummer and testimony to the fact that the NBA lacks honor and integrity and is then by definition corrupt. That is, the product is not a viable measure of a player’s truth value and worth. It is rather something else. What that something else is therefore is difficult to say. And therein lies the frustration of paying any attention at all to the NBA. We all know what Jeremy is capable of on a basketball court. We have both stats and the less reliable “eye test” to back up the contention that Jeremy is a very good player who has been victimized by racism and discrimination and a total lack of intelligent utilization. Is the NBA unique in this regard? No way as this seems to be the norm on this planet with our species and it has been so for a very long time. This doesn’t make it right nevertheless or any easier to tolerate. We can only hope that Mr. Clifford turns out to be a real coach unlike BS and McFrankenstein. If he does Jeremy will prosper. If not it will be another long, frustrating year for Jeremy and those of us who care about him. Gotta go. Ciao for now.

      • ashley

        I think our dear JLin is too idealistic, though he deserves much admiration for being so true to his words–he really only cared about being able to play his game and not the salary. For the past three years, he ‘s been deceived by GMs and coaches, but he was financially compensated, in my opinion. This time, there won’t be any compensation; he can only trust whatever promises the Hornet’s coach and GM gave him. I heard that the Hornets’ GM is Asian, but sadly it turned out he wasn’t more generous than the other GMs. I’m not clear about their cap space, but I believe they could have shown more respect for Lin with a better salary offer, say like 4 M a year. Currently, it’s not been revealed whether Lin’s second year is the player’s option; let’s hope it is. At this moment, I’d like for LIn to just play well for one year and then opt out, going for a bigger contract. As fans, we were not pleasantly surprised by Lin’s decision; hopefully we will.

        • old & in the way

          Dear Ashley:

          It looks like your last line got cut off. “Hopefully we will…” what? Could you please finish your thought? I am curious to know what you had intended to write. Hopefully we will…what? Thank you and ‘bye for now.

          • old & in the way

            Dear Ashley:

            I’m sorry for being so slow. I think I just figured out what you meant. As his fans we were not pleasantly surprised by his decision but hopefully in time we will be pleasantly surprised. Is this correct? I think it must be. Sorry for being so dense in this instance. I will try to be quicker in the future. Ciao again.

      • Chirico

        Thank for the warm welcome. The old & in,
        I had been taking a large role in my career so I did not have too much free time to joining you guys commenting Jlins bball story. I was able to just observing and catch news about him.

        I am glad that he is out of Leakers but I’m quite shocked on the record he is the lowest paid player in Hornets roaster. but a source confirmed ESPN? hmm… I wonder how much reliable was that source of information about Lins salary?

        If that proved to be true, that is equivalent to paying a highly intelligent physician with McDonald’s pay rate. While we saw lots of other players who don’t deserve the compensation they receive. e.g paying a cashier with a salary range equal to what a CEO gets.

        Some player in NYC 3 years ago said Lins deal with Huston rockets was ridiculous, I’d say this is ridiculous!

        • Gary Teng

          Not all is bad news for our Lin fans. ๐Ÿ™‚

          It was just revealed that Lin’s contract with Hornets is a 1 + 1 Biannual Exception with a total worth of $4.374 millions. The first year is 2.139 millions, and the second year is 2.235 millions with player option.

          This means that after only one year playing for Hornets, Lin can exercise his player option and sign a new contract with any NBA team (including Hornets) which offers a better deal to him.

          Let’s pray that Lin has a breakout year at Hornets!~~~ ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Thanks for the info, Gary Teng! I was hoping that the second year is a player option. This is very good news, because I anticipate that Lin will have a breakout year this season. I anticipate he’ll play a significant role with the Hornets.

        • ashley

          Dear Mr. Old,

          It looks my intention to be concise had failed–got to make better decisions with my writing. Speaking of Lin’s shocking FA decision, the second year is indeed a player option. According to the Hornets’ GM, Rich Cho, Lin will be playing backup on the second unit, a role he has proven to be good at on the Lakers. This is the first time a team’s GM announced Lin’s backup role so explicitly. The Hornets signed him through a biannual exception; they didn’t use the 5 million mid-level exception on Lin. They should have enough cap space as they’ve only signed 13 players.

          Hi Chirico,

          It’s great to take on a bigger role in one’s career. Hope Lin wins his too!

          • Forthelin

            I think one of the Hornet’s key attractions for Lin was their honesty. Every rational NBA fan has to agree that Lin belongs in the league, but he has to find his role on the team. Jamal Crawford played eight years before he found his role as one of the best 6th man in the league. One of Lin’s weaknesses is his consistency, especially when he loses his confidence out there. Honestly, it is a little painful to watch, but when he’s on, he’s a dream and he shows how basketball should be played. I think LIn needs a little nurturing right now after having experienced the harshness of the ways of the NBA. Cuban just got his, but it’s usually the players who spent their lives trying to get on that gravy train.

          • MrPingPong

            Yes Forthelin, “honesty” is what Lin mentioned in his presser today. I think you are right on point there. And yes, it’s hard to watch Lin lose confidence out there on the court if he screws up a little in the first few plays. I wonder how much that has to do with the short leash McHale and BS put on him. But then in the grand scheme of things, Lin has survived it all and is still playing. Lin might have lost confidence every once in a while but does not crack.

            Speaking of losing confidence, Nicolas Batum had an atrocious year last year and admitted he lost confidence in his season review:

            http://www.csnnw.com/blazers/season-review-nicolas-batum

            Let’s hope NB recovers fully and rediscovers his shooting touch. We need everybody healthy and playing as a team in order to win. I see a lot of confidence in Lin when he stated that the team wants “to make the playoff this year, not just sneak in the 8th spot.”

            I am always optimistic, when it comes to Lin. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • mcley Ma

    Hi!

    I am digging in the internet to find some sincere and detailed information on how Jeremy Lin plays. Then I found this website when searching Lin’s favourite plays.
    I’d like to share my two cents from a Hornets fan’s perspective.
    As a long time Bobcats/Hornets fan, I’m used to how ppl misunderstood and media mistreated Hornets. Does it sound familiar to you, Lin’s fans? To me, Hornets and Lin are a perfect combination of underrated team and player that both worth much more respect.

    Believe it or not, on the morning of July 8th (the day Jeremy revealed his decision), Coach Clifford said “Jeremy Lin (is) somebody who can help us…” during a radio interview. He was addressing the need of a playmaker role in Hornets’ Pick’n’Roll offense. Since there wasn’t any news linking Lin’s name with Hornets, I thought Clifford just meant “a player like Lin”. But now we all know what happened later that day.

    My point is Hornets doesn’t sign Jeremy Lin like taking a bargain. They know how Lin can help the team and really need him to contribute. It’s still too early to know how many minutes Jeremy will play or how big his role would be. But it’s a good starting point, right?

    Regarding Lin’s contract, we all know he deserves more than Bi-Annual exception, but in terms of market, maybe that is how much teams are willing to pay… At least with a player option, he can opt out after a sucussful season and get a larger contract next season when salary cap takes another jump.

    • old & in the way

      Dear mcley Ma on:

      Greetings and welcome to this Jeremy Lin fan website. The more I read and learn about Charlotte and Coach Clifford the better I feel about Jeremy’s decision to sign with the Hornets. And your comment helps me feel more positive, too. It is good to know something about Coach Clifford’s thought processes and how he plans to utilize Jeremy’s skills to the benefit of both Jeremy as a player and the Hornets as a team. If properly utilized Jeremy could help make the Hornets a much better team. He is a very selfless player who is fiercely dedicated to playing team basketball and enabling his teammates to perform at their highest levels. Perhaps Coach Clifford understands this and is an honest man. If he is both Jeremy and Charlotte will be fine together. Those of us who admire Jeremy Lin and the way he plays basketball want him to prosper and be successful so now that means Charlotte, too. I hope for the very best for both Jeremy Lin and his new team, the Charlotte Hornets. I hope you will continue to post your comments here and share your insights with us about the Hornets and Coach Clifford. This is a good beginning. Ciao for now.

      • Chirico

        Tomorrow, I will be watching closely on Hornets press conference regarding to JLin signing. hopefully we will know more about his contract detail.

    • Welcome, mcley Ma! Glad to have Hornets fans here. I have a lot to learn about the Hornets so it’s great to hear your perspective, as a longtime Bobcats/Hornets fan. The more I learn about coach Clifford and the Hornets, the more I’m excited about Lin joining the Hornets.

      Clifford also served as Mike D’Antoni’s assistant coach in LA, so I’m sure Clifford has talked to D’Antoni about Lin’s game. This may be why Lin felt confident that Clifford understood his game. I’m not a big D’Antoni fan, myself, but at least he’s been the only coach who has let Lin play Lin’s game. So that’s definitely a positive sign for Lin fans that Clifford used to be D’Antoni’s assistant coach.

      I think both Lin and the Hornets will benefit this season. So both Hornets fans and Lin fans have something to look forward to this season.

      Thanks again for your comment and hope to see you around here again!

    • MrPingPong

      Hello mcley Ma! Thanks for visiting this site and share your insight on your team, the Hornets.

      My Ouija board and I are the only LOFs that foresaw Lin signing with the Hornets the day Lance Stephenson was traded away! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a great fit and the future is bright for Lin and the Hornets according to my Ouija board.

      Come and visit us often!

  • Pingback: Charlotte Hornets is Surprisingly the Right Choice for Jeremy Lin | Jeremy Lintel()