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Report: Linsanity returning to NBA, finalizing a deal with the Warriors

PG Jeremy Lin is expected to sign a deal with Golden State pending clearance from the Chinese Basketball Association.

Toronto Raptors guard Jeremy Lin warms up before game three of the 2019 NBA Finals against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. The Raptors defeated the Warriors 123-109 to lead the series 2-1.  Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors are finalizing a deal with PG Jeremy Lin, pending approval by the Chinese Basketball Association, Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Friday afternoon. Lin spent all of last season in the CBA. The last time he played in the NBA, he was crowned a champion with the Toronto Raptors in 2018-19. Now, he’ll be back in the U.S. potentially on a deal with the Dubs to serve as a backup guard to Stephen Curry for Steve Kerr.

Update: Shams is saying Lin plans on joining the Warriors’ G-League affiliate. So we won’t see Linsanity in the NBA right away. He is however working toward a return to the NBA, so it may only take a handful of tune-up games in the G-League for Lin to get the call-up. Linsanity is on an Exhibit 10 deal, so he isn’t guaranteed a 15-man roster spot but should make it on the G-League roster, per Shams.

Lin, a Palo Alto native, is returning home to the team he began his NBA career with back in 2010-11. A Stanford Alum, Lin was signed by the Dubs as an undrafted free agent. He played in 29 games for the Warriors before heading to the New York Knicks. That’s when the Linsanity happened. We all remember that 2011-12 season when Lin took over Madison Square Garden, coming off the bench for a 26-game stretch for the Knicks.

Perhaps Lin’s most memorable moment was going toe-to-toe with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers, scoring a career-high 38 points at MSG. Lin helped the Knicks reach the postseason in 2012, losing to the Miami Heat in five games. Still, the legend of Lin will live on in infamy. Maybe Lin will be able to capture some of that magic for the Warriors.

If we take a look at the Warriors depth chart, Brad Wanamaker is lined up to be the backup PG. Wanamaker isn’t anything special and it’s clear the Warriors want to get some more bodies in the mix to backup Steph. Damion Lee is better suited as a two-guard and wouldn’t make sense running the point. Lin is a veteran and has played with some decent players throughout his career.

Lin is only 32 years old and had a monster season in China in 2019-20. He averaged 22.3 points and 5.6 assists in 39 games for the Ducks. Lin also shot nearly 50 percent from the floor and 33.8 percent from beyond the arc. What might stand out the most was he averaged 1.8 steals per game, so while it’s weaker competition, Lin still managed to play solid defense over in China.