Jul 20, 2010, 10:17 PM EDT
Jeremy Lin has struck it rich in Las Vegas.
Lin, one of the stars of Vegas Summer League, is very close to a deal with the Golden State Warriors, according to both ESPN and the Contra Costa Times. Lin would be returning home with his deal, he is a Palo Alto native. He also would be the first player from Harvard in the NBA since 1954.
This is not a guaranteed deal — he can still be cut during training camp or at any time in the first few months of the season. How Golden State got him was guaranteeing a buyout of half of his nearly $500,000 first year salary if he is cut. The Dallas Mavericks (his Summer League team) and Los Angeles Lakers were also interested in Lin, but they offered smaller buyouts if he was cut (the minimum salary would have been the same anywhere). Also, the second year of Lin’s deal is a team option.
Lin might well make the Warriors, however. Stephen Curry is going to get the lion’s share of minutes at the point, and Monta Ellis will get some, but the Warriors just traded away last season’s backup C.J. Watson. They need a backup point now, and Lin is going to get the chance to get the job.
Lin won over Summer League fans in Vegas because he plays a fearless game. Nobody attacked the rim as hard as him, as relentlessly. His game is not fully NBA ready — got to improve his jumper, he’s got to finish at a higher rate near the rim. But he has a great feel for the game, makes smart passes and is the kind of guy that will change the mood of a practice because he will not coast. Coaches love players who maximize their talents, and Lin is one of those guys.
And it looks like he is going to make it.