Jeremy Lin is indeed going to be bought out by the Atlanta Hawks, and he’s headed north of the border to the Toronto Raptors.
It’s been just over seven years since “Linsanity” descended on the New York Knicks, via a little-known point guard named Jeremy Lin. Now a grizzled and well-traveled veteran at 30 years old, Lin is set to be headed to the Toronto Raptors once the Atlanta Hawks officially buy him out.
Lin played in 51 games for the Hawks this season, starting one, as he is averaging 10.7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.3 rebounds per game thus far. An expiring contract brought a fair amount of rumored interest as last week’s trade deadline approached, and the Hawks’ initially reported stance on not doing a buyout seemingly shifted with a potential push from Lin’s representation.
With Kyle Lowry dealing with a lingering back issue, and Fred VanVleet (left thumb soreness) now a little banged up himself, Lin may find a solid immediate role off the bench for the Raptors. As they look to get over the hump in a LeBron James-less Eastern Conference and make a deep playoff run, adding a veteran backcourt piece like Lin looks like a good move.
The trade with the Memphis Grizzlies for Marc Gasol took away some of their depth (Delon Wright, C.J. Miles), and Raptors president Masai Ujiri quickly suggested the team would “attack” the buyout market after the trade deadline. Adding Lin doesn’t necessarily qualify as an attack of the buyout market, but there haven’t been many getting done to this point. There’s still time for that to change though, with a March 1 deadline for players who are waived or bought out to be added and be postseason eligible for a new team.
The sugar high of “Linsanity” is long gone, and not coming to Canada in full. But with some playoff experience (17 games) to offer, along with double-digit scoring off the bench, Lin is sure to quickly become a fan favorite in Toronto.