Last week we reported that Jeremy Lin ’10 was nominated for an ESPY Award for “Breakout Athlete of the Year.” Today, despite his breakthrough performance, his future appears much less certain.
Lin, who had previously been named to the USA Select Team, will not be participating in the Team USA camp beginning July 6. This is because of Lin’s status as a restricted free agent, a status that will remain unchanged until Lin becomes eligible to be signed on July 11.
“Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to participate in the 2012 USA Men's Select Team this summer,” Lin told USA Basketball. “It was such an incredible honor to be selected, but I have withdrawn my name from the team because of my status as a free agent. I hope to have the opportunity to participate with USA Basketball at some point in the future.”
With a strong crop of young guards, Lin’s prospects of making an impact for Team USA were minimal, but nevertheless the decision is understandably a disappointment for Lin and his fans. In the meantime, Lin’s focus shifts toward his impending free agency. Though the possibility of Lin remaining in New York with the Knicks still stands, he is being pursued by a number of teams, including the Houston Rockets, whom he will visit with on Wednesday, that same team that briefly signed him to its roster last December.
The Knicks can offer Lin a four-year contract worth $24.5 million – not bad for a guy who was barely on an NBA roster just a year ago. But sources say that a team may be able to offer him an equally long deal worth an estimated $40 million, which would be back-loaded to pay Lin about $15 million for each of the last two years.
The most important two week stretch of Jeremy Lin’s basketball career almost certainly occurred in February, but the next two weeks could prove to be a close second.