Golden State Warriors news: Jeremy Lin to sign with G-League team

By Matt Fitzgerald
June 5, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin (17) warms up before game three of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Raptors defeated the Warriors 123-109 to lead the series 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran guard Jeremy Lin is slated to join the Golden State Warriors’ G-League affiliate in Santa Cruz.

Lin spent the 2019-20 season playing for the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association and last played in the NBA for the Toronto Raptors during their 2019 championship run.

Golden State Warriors news: Team to sign Jeremy Lin

Shams Charania of The Athletic initially reported the news of Lin landing with the Dubs, while The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears specified that Lin would be joining the Santa Cruz Warriors. This was later confirmed by The Athletic’s Anthony Slater:

Lin is familiar with Golden State. After going undrafted out of Harvard in 2010, it was the Warriors who took a chance on Lin in the first place, and he wound up appearing in 29 games as a rookie.

But the Dubs let Lin go, setting the stage for his epic “Linsanity” run with the New York Knicks during the 2011-12 season. In 35 games with the Knicks, Lin posted 14.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.6 steals per contest. Yes, it was a short-lived stint of glory, yet Lin showed enough to suggest he could be a starting-caliber NBA guard.

Unfortunately, no other team gave Lin the chance to take control like he did for that magical run in the Big Apple. He wound up signing with the Houston Rockets and playing off ball-dominant guard James Harden for a couple seasons. Then, he went to a rebuilding Los Angeles Lakers squad for one season, spent the next year in Charlotte, and was beset by injuries in his two seasons with the Brooklyn Nets.

Limited to a supporting role in Atlanta while appearing in only 51 games during 2018-19, Lin agreed to a buyout with the Hawks before mostly riding the bench as part of the Raptors’ aforementioned championship team.

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May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin (17) speaks during media day for the 2019 NBA Finals at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

That long-winded recap of Lin’s NBA journey is important, because it provides a little context to what he’s dealt with. The 32-year-old thrives in the pick-and-roll game, is a passable perimeter shooter and can be counted on for instant offense.

Once viewed as a potential backup to Stephen Curry with Golden State, it’s very possible Lin ascends to claim that role. He’s an exciting, worthy addition, and it’d be a waste to leave him in the G-League.

Sound far-fetched? Well, consider that in the CBA this past season, Lin not only averaged 22.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists, but he was also a Defensive Player of the Year finalist. That end of the court has been a big knock on Lin’s game. Provided he’s healthy and as willing of a defender as he just was in China, there’s reason to believe Lin can still make strides there.

It might not even take an injury for Lin to get the call back to the NBA. The Dubs don’t exactly have a bunch of world beaters in their backcourt corps outside of Curry, especially with Klay Thompson out for the season.

Provided Lin shows out well in Santa Cruz, it stands to reason he can supplant the likes of Brad Wanamaker and Jordan Poole for a spot in the Warriors’ A-team rotation.