Despite a lone season here filled with frustration over his own inconsistency, a fluctuating role and an unconventional offense, a possible Jeremy Lin partnership with the Lakers is not entirely over.
The Lakers expressed interest in retaining Lin after free agency began on Tuesday night, according to a league source familiar with the situation. Lin also fielded interest from several teams, including Dallas, Memphis, Indiana, Chicago, San Antonio and the Clippers, according to a league source. But before free agency began, both the Lakers and Lin felt lukewarm about a reunion for several reasons.
Although he experienced relative improvement throughout the 2014-15 season, Lin felt uncomfortable under Byron Scott’s offensive system that put less emphasis on pick-and-rolls. He initially struggled sharing ball-handling duties. After 19 games, Lin lost his starting spot to veteran Ronnie Price in hopes the Lakers could offset a 5-15 start. Lin lost his starting spot again for good in January so rookie guard Jordan Clarkson could develop.
The odds of Lin returning to the Lakers appeared even more unlikely after selection Ohio State point guard D’Angelo Russell with the No. 2 pick of the 2015 NBA Draft. That would cement Lin as a third-string point guard. Although he has downplayed the importance of starting or coming off the bench, Lin considers it a priority to join on a team where he both feels comfortable in the offense and plays a significant role.
Lin averaged 11.2 points on 42.4 percent shooting, 4.6 assists and 2.2 turnovers through 74 games, numbers that nearly mirrored his career average through five NBA seasons.