Atlanta Hawks: Jeremy Lin Named Breakout Candidate for 2018-19

Jeremy Lin #7 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jeremy Lin #7 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Atlanta Hawks trading for Jeremy Lin was one of the first moves this front office made this offseason, and it created no small amount of head-scratching among Hawks fans.

When the Atlanta Hawks traded for Jeremy Lin, an odd move that signaled a few future moves, it was clear in how the deal was organized that Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk valued Lin’s skill set and leadership.

Lin has had a mercurial career in the NBA, typified by one of the most incredible rises to prominence in league history – the inimitable days of Linsanity.

Though clearly an interesting person with a fascinating backstory and career, Lin didn’t seem to be a good fit alongside the supremely young core that the Atlanta Hawks would be focusing on in 2018-19.

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With all that said, FanSided’s HoopsHabit recently released a list of the 10 players most likely to have a breakout season in 2018-19, and Lin made the list at number 8 overall, ahead of Ryan Anderson and Isaiah Thomas and behind the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Mike Conley and former Hawk great Paul Millsap.

According to the writer of the HoopsHabit piece, Gerald Bourguet, “he’ll get his opportunities to prove he can still play, especially after missing all but one game last season and sitting out 46 games the year before that.” Bourguet continues:

"“Lin’s time back in the Big Apple [with the Brooklyn Nets] was nowhere near as successful as the New York Knicks stint that first put him on the map, but following a trade from the Nets to the Atlanta Hawks, the 30-year-old enters a contract year on a young team where minutes will be available.Whether he jumps into the sixth man role he embraced during his time with the Charlotte Hornets or a trade frees up more playing time as a combo guard, it’d be nice to see Lin stay healthy and just put up some raw numbers for a tanking Hawks squad.”"

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Lin will have ample opportunities on a Hawks team that is widely regarded as one of the worst in the league, and we are certainly hoping that Lin can bounce back to the form he put forth during his time in Charlotte – when he helped lead that team to a 6-seed in the playoffs and a hard-fought, seven-game exit in the first round of the playoffs against the Miami Heat.