Jeremy Lin has officially declined his player option, making him an unrestricted free-agent and therefore the target of numerous teams in the coming months looking to upgrade their bench. Already, the Internet Hype Machine has suggested that Lin could return to the home of Linsanity and the place where he first made his NBA name: New York.
While playing for the Charlotte Hornets this year, Lin re-established himself as the kind of sixth man teams would kill, or at least trade draft picks, for. He was the clear-headed leader of the bench crew, talented enough to start but humble enough to understand his current role; shredding lesser opponents on the hardwood while giving Kemba and co. a quick breather. Not limited to his bench role, he was also able to wreak havoc as a second ball-handler when inserted into lineups that included Kemba Walker, and on more than one occasion, would close out games as a steady scorer.
It goes completely without saying that fans of the Knicks would love to see Jeremy Lin in the orange and blue again. Linsanity was the stuff that '30 For 30' documentaries are made of, and despite his lesser minutes in Charlotte, there's little doubt that Lin has made leaps and bounds in his abilities since originally leaving New York.
Unfortunately, it seems like this year's free agency class of point guards isn't too high on the Knicks' shopping list. According to an NY Post article, while Hornacek is looking for a player that will bridge the gap between Jerian Grant's inexperience and Jose Calderon's, um, "advanced experience" (read: he's washed), the Knicks FO hasn't shown any real interest in arguably the top prize at PG, Mike Conley, or even other talented facilitators such as Rajon Rondo or Ty Lawson. Sources closer to the Knicks organisation believes Rondo dribbles the air out of the ball too often, Lawson has too many off-the-court issues, and Lin's defensive deficiencies are still too glaring.
This is also in line with the Knicks' reported interest in trading for picks in the 2016 draft, with a lot of interest being shown in Seton Hall playmaker Isiah Whitehead. Whitehead himself recently tweeted that he had worked out with Carmelo Anthony, which is as big a co-sign as you can get in Phil Jackson's M.O. of keeping his cards close to his chest. At 6-5, Whitehead is the kind of tall, lengthy guard Jackson always wanted in his coaching days at the Bulls and Lakers. What New York are willing to give up to get him though, is unclear.