Jeremy Lin, the Atlanta Hawks Chronicles – Staying Put, Whatever That Means

As expected (to some) or slightly surprisingly (to others), Jeremy Lin didn’t switch teams before the 2019 trade deadline. What looked so logical and simple a few months ago – The Atlanta Hawks moving an efficient, productive veteran to a contender – turned out into some rumors, some teams looking into the matter, but no movement.

In general, the Hawks didn’t make a lot of moves. Not meaningful ones anyway. They added Shelvin Mack (backup guard) and got Jabari Bird who is likely to get released. Lin, Dewayne Dedmon, Kent Bazemore and Taurean Prince have all been linked in different trade scenarios, but the Hawks didn’t like what teams were showing them.

So to conclude the trade deadline, the Hawks hosted and lost to the Kawhi-less Toronto Raptors. Lin had his lowest scoring performance since early December, putting up just 4 points in 17 minutes, along with 2 assists and a rebound. The inconsistency in his playing time and stretches of games he’s used in take a toll on his ability, and perhaps his mood. 

In the previous write up about Lin, I pondered whether staying with the Hawks is good or bad for Lin in terms of raising his free agency stock for the summer. The first few games in February perhaps tell us he would have been better off somewhere else, but the usage of Lin this season has been so erratic, it’s really difficult to forecast anything with clarity even one week ahead.

Some things aren’t in Lin’s control, but Lin is in some sort of funk within himself. Perhaps it’s us theorizing needlessly from the side, but a player whose game leans on intensity looks very far from intense in a lot of the few minutes he gets these days. The Hawks value Lin otherwise we would have seen him being shipped, but it’s also up to him to make the most of the next two months, even if the ending is known to everyone: A lot of losses and goodbye to a new setting, hopefully one that has loftier aspirations.

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