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Jeremy Lin deal with Golden State falls apart because of paperwork

Michael Holley and Michael Smith look ahead to the 2020-21 NBA MVP race and share their picks.

When reports leaked that Jeremy Lin had reached a deal with the Golden State Warriors (ultimately to join their G-League team), it was Lin himself who pumped the brakes and told people to chill.

Lin’s instincts proved to be right.

While Jeremy Lin and the Golden State reportedly agreed to terms that would have had him playing for its G-League team, Lin had to be cleared from his Chinese team the Beijing Ducks (where he played last season) through FIBA (basketball’s international governing body). It is officially called a letter of clearance, but once FIBA’s European offices closed for the weekend, getting that letter would be a challenge.

The clearance letter did not arrive before the 11 p.m. Eastern Dec. 19 deadline, so the deal fell apart.

The Warriors could still sign Lin to the same contract after that deadline and waive him, but the team would have to pay a late-fee kind of penalty, and because the team is already into the luxury tax this move would cost them more than Lin’s G-League contract. (NBA rosters have to be locked in at 15 players by Dec. 21.)

Instead, the Warriors signed-and-waived former Hofstra star Elijah Pemberton before the deadline, and he is on his way to the G-League.

It’s not clear what Lin’s next move will be.