The Santa Cruz Warriors lost Tuesday, suffering a 108-96 defeat to the Lakeland Magic in the semifinals of the G League playoffs.
Golden State’s organization probably won’t lose sleep about leaving the Orlando bubble without a G League trophy. But Jeremy Lin is now playing something of a waiting game to see if he’ll get back to the NBA.
GSWReddit on Twitter shared some stats and insight from the Sea Dubs’ season-ending loss.
The Sea Dubs could have benefitted from having Jordan Poole and Nico Mannion in the lineup, but they received a recent call-up to Golden State before the All-Star break and it doesn’t make much sense to yo-yo them around for an ultimately meaningless title.
Lin led Santa Cruz with 20 points on Tuesday and was able to consistently get to the rim.
Alen Smailagic, who was limited to just 17 minutes per game in the G League, will likely spend the rest of the season on the Warriors’ bench. He averaged 7.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game with a 51.7 field-goal percentage in 10 contests.
But the Dubs would have to release a player to make room for Lin. Then there’s the whole issue of how much it would actually cost to sign Lin, considering the massive luxury tax bill that awaits the Warriors at the end of the year.
It’s a complicated topic, but the Warriors stand to benefit from the NBA’s restructuring of the luxury tax before the 2020-21 season with declining revenues. Still, Lin’s contract could cost three to four times the actual value of his deal once you factor in the taxes. As much as Warriors fans don't want to hear it, keeping Brad Wanamaker makes more sense than signing Lin right now.
Considering Poole and Mannion looked sharp in their recent return to the NBA, Lin’s best chance might be to latch on with another team, since the Warriors don't own his NBA rights. In nine games with the Sea Dubs, he averaged 19.8 points on 50.5 percent shooting from the field and 42.6 percent from 3-point range, with 6.4 assists per game.