In advance of the 2018-2019 NBA season, the Peachtree Hoops crew will preview each player on the current roster. The twelfth installment covers newcomer Jeremy Lin.
Jeremy Lin would most likely be very happy just having a season where he is able to stay healthy after the way the last two years have gone. Aside from his health issues, Lin has been a pretty solid point guard and if the Atlanta Hawks can just get average production from Lin, they’ll surely be pleased.
Lin has already made a name for himself in the NBA after years of steady production as both a starter and reserve at times. Lin is by no means a superstar and he isn’t going to drag a team to the playoffs, but he is a guy that can start games and give you 20 points and five assists when healthy.
Perhaps even more valuable than his scoring efforts for the Hawks will be his impact on rookie point guard Trae Young. Lin also has a good track record of mentoring young guards like D’Angelo Russell and Kemba Walker in the past, so Young would be wise to sponge up Lin’s experiences and tips.
As mentioned before, a solid season for Jeremy Lin mostly includes staying healthy. This is a contract season for Lin so he will surely be looking to get into games and get his value up as high as possible.
Outlook for 2018
While it isn’t entirely clear yet whether Lin will start over Trae Young, it is clear that Lin will see major minutes if he is at all healthy. The Hawks are really starting the season with just two point guards on the roster so the two will have to split up 48 minutes a night.
It’ll be interesting to see if Lin is ready for a heavy workload right away coming off a major knee injury. However, even with just two point guards on the roster the Hawks could look to showcase Lin early on to build his value up for a possible trade down the road.
Lin has traditionally been a good spot-up shooter from beyond the arc (39 percent in 2017) and as a result, with Trae Young’s great passing ability, you might also see both Lin and Young on the floor at the same time sometimes. Lin’s versatility really allows for the Hawks to be creative with what positions he plays in order to put him in the best situations to be successful. Lin has normally been a good passer, as he averaged over four assists per game in every season of his career, outside of his rookie season and 2015-16, so if the Hawks need to split up the playing time between Young and Lin, then the distribution from the point guard position won’t see significant drop.
Lin has never been heralded as a top-notch defender, but he has averaged a steal per game over his career and has a good frame to be able to switch onto shooting guards as well.
Ideally for Lin, this season begins with him 100% healthy. If he adapts quickly to head coach Lloyd Pierce’s game plan, he very well could be the starter, as coaches love to roll with veterans who know what they’re doing.
This will be Lin’s ninth season in the NBA and could be his last big chance to pick up a nice pay day in the offseason. If Lin does come out on fire and plays well through December, GM Travis Schlenk very well could begin to look at offers for Lin. Lin and his agent have to be looking at the move to Atlanta as a blessing, as it will definitely result in the veteran getting a ton of playing time to showcase his skills in the final season of his current contract.
The point guard tandem in Atlanta is less of a race this season and more of a buddy system as it seems both Young and Lin will get plenty of minutes regardless of who is starting and who is coming off of the bench.