Jeremy Lin, the seventh-year point guard, intends to don the hat of a recruiter this offseason (NBA Free Agency 2017) with hopes of bolstering the Brooklyn Nets roster. Lin and the Nets agreed to a three-year, US$38 million (AU$51 million) contract last summer.
With Brook Lopez entering the final year of his contract, the Nets have approximately US$74 million (AU$99 million) committed in salaries towards the 2017-18 season. With the salary cap projected at roughly US$102 million (AU$135 million), the Nets should realistically have enough room to sign a max-level player. Despite finishing the season as the worst team in the league, the Nets are still viewed as a big-market team due to the lure of New York.
“I honestly don’t think it’s going to be that hard of a sell. First of all, it’s Brooklyn. It’s New York. Second of all, everyone can tell this culture is completely different. You can talk to the players. There’s freshness, a different vibe, and what we did after the All-Star break will help. But also, players just want to be treated the right way, and I know that there’s definitely a lot of interest," Lin told The New York Post.
Jeremy Lin credits coach Kenny Atkinson for culture change
The Nets went 11-13 after a 9-49 start in the just-concluded season thanks largely to Lin's return from injury and coach Kenny Atkinson's fast-paced offense. The Asian-American guard believes that their unselfish brand of basketball should prove attractive to free agents. “Players are asking about us because they saw the way that Kenny (Atkinson) coached. They saw how hard these guys played night-in and night-out, how unselfish we played. They want to be a part of that, so there’s already been a lot of interest. People are already asking questions, whether it’s to me or Brook (Lopez) or other players. I don’t think it’s going to be difficult.”
Coach Atkinson, the primary reason behind Lin signing with the Nets last offseason, acknowledges that the team is on the right path. “That’s an easy sell (to free agents). We have great fans. … Every game they’ve been amazing. So we’ve got great fans, a great basketball city, and great practice facility. We’re getting mojo around the league that it’s a pleasant place to play; guys like that. So I just think guys will look at it and say maybe this is a place where I can get an opportunity and help this team improve.”
Jeremy Lin averaged 14.5 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds in his seventh season. After playing for five teams in his previous six seasons, Lin has finally landed a starting job with the Nets. Stay tuned for the latest news and updates ahead of NBA Free Agency 2017.