The Charlotte Hornets agreed to terms with Lin Wednesday, according to a source, with the signing expected to be made official Thursday (UPDATE: The Hornets now have made it official). Lin has fallen a ways since his "Linsanity" days in New York in 2012 -- he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated for two consecutive weeks in February 2012, and he remains the first American of Chinese or Taiwanese descent to play in the NBA. Lin was courted as a backup this time, behind Kemba Walker at point guard, and apparently he's fine with that since he displayed the Hornets' logo on his Instagram account as a way of "announcing" his signing Wednesday night
Lin will not be the savior for the Charlotte Hornets. He will not, by himself, lead the Hornets to "the promised land," to use the analogy that GM Dave Gettleman used when the Carolina Panthers announced Cam Newton's $103-million signing recently. Lin is a good NBA player but not a great one -- don't overhype this move.
But he will fit better with this team than Lance Stephenson ever did, and at a much more reasonable price. He's shaky defensively but he can score (he has a career average of 11.7 points per game). And the one thing the Hornets have proved this offseason is that they are going to put some more points on the scoreboard even if it means they are less effective defensively.
So at least their games are going to be more entertaining. And I am not a huge fan of Brian Roberts, so making him the third point guard instead of Kemba's primary backup makes sense to me. This is a good move for the Hornets, and hopefully it will be a good move for Lin, too. He did not do well with the L.A. Lakers last season, but he's a fine scorer and really good in the pick-and-roll, and I can see situations where he gets hot in the third quarter and Steve Clifford plays a hunch and leaves him in during the fourth and lets him play alongside Walker.
It gives the Hornets more scoring options, basically, and that's a good thing for such an offensively challenged team (Lin will more or less take the roster spot of Mo Williams). It's not going to be Linsanity around here, but this will be a better team with Lin on it.