- Posted: 1:01 PM, May 10, 2012
“I don’t really want to guess,’’ Lin said. “You never know what happens in this business. Nobody really knows what’s going to happen.’’
Well, Knicks coach Mike Woodson does.
“Will he be back next season? Absolutely,” Woodson said of Lin on Thursday morning at the team’s practice center. “Jeremy’s a big part of our team. The future is very bright for him.”
Lin will almost certainly be re-signed with all or part of the Knicks' $5 million mid-level exception. Due to Lin’s status under the Arenas Rule, the Knicks can match any offer made to him.
Lin, who played in 35 games this season, has been out since March 24 due to a knee injury. He averaged 14.6 points and 6.2 assists in his sophomore season. Woodson said he did not know how large Lin's role would be next season, but he wanted him to spend the summer to help his game catch up to his fame.
“Will he start? Only time will tell,” Woodson said. “He’s had some success in our league where he’s played at a high level and he’s done a lot of nice things for our ballclub.
"There’s still room for growth. He’s still gotta learn the NBA game and what it's about and playing at a high level. There's no doubt in my mind that he's a smart enough player that he will get better in time but he needs the reps just like all young players. It didn’t happen overnight. He's still got a ways to go but I think this sumer will be a big start for him in terms of his growth and where he is with our ballclub.”
Lin, who emerged playing under former coach Mike D’Antoni, played six games under Woodson before suffering the season-ending injury. According to sources, owner James Dolan has told Woodson he wants the coach to return next season, with the contract details being the final step.
“I’ll have an opportunity to sit down with ownership: Mr. Dolan and [general manager] Glen [Grunwald]," Woodson said. “I definitely do want to come back. We’ll see how it turns out.’’