Point guard Jeremy Lin declined his $2.2 million player option with the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday, making him an unrestricted free agent. The move was widely expected around the league after Lin's strong season with the Hornets and the NBA's salary cap continuing to rise.
Lin will be considered one of the top free-agent point guards on the market after piecing together one of his best seasons in Charlotte, averaging 11.7 points and three assists per game while both as a backup and alongside Hornets starter Kemba Walker. Though his shooting and efficiency numbers were down slightly, the 6-foot-3 guard, entering his seventh NBA season later this year, was a key cog in helping Charlotte return to the postseason.
Lin has not ruled out a return to the Hornets, calling it a "perfect situation" if the two sides could work out a long-term deal. Other top suitors are believed to include his former team, the Houston Rockets, the Brooklyn Nets and Detroit Pistons.
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Either way, it was an easy financial decision given his relatively cheap player option and the exploding salaries on the free-agent market, particularly in a shallow class of available point guards.
The Hornets now officially have five rotation players hitting free agency: Lin, Marvin Williams, Al Jefferson, Courtney Lee and Nic Batum.