Jeremy Lin says he will explore all options in free agency

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Outside of Mike Conley, Jeremy Lin is arguably the most attractive free agent available at the point guard position. He’s going to have plenty of suitors after a resurgent year with the Hornets, and he said over the weekend that he’s going to listen to all offers.

Via ESPN.com:

“I’ve played 6 years, in the NBA, I’ve played on five different teams. I’ve played for two D-League teams — so seven cities in six years. I’m tired of boxes, I’m tired of moving companies and I want to find a home,” Lin said in an interview with the World Economic Forum over the weekend.

“I want to see how good I can become,” Lin said in the World Economic Forum interview. “I’m 27 and an athlete’s prime, or at least in the NBA, your prime is usually 27-30. That’s when you kind of peak physically (and) mentally and that’s where most players perform their best. So I’m going into my prime and I want to see how great I can be as a player and that’s my purpose in free agency so I’ll just exhaust every opportunity to see which one will be the best for me.”

Lin has bounced around the league since his explosion in New York in 2012. He spent two seasons in Houston, followed by one with the Lakers and one in Charlotte. He recently told the Charlotte Observer that he enjoyed his season with the Hornets and would love to return:

“This is the most fun I’ve had in my six years” in the NBA, Lin said. “Being around a great group of guys and a coaching staff that really cares. I’ve learned so much about the game of basketball, particularly at the defensive end.”

“My biggest thing is I want to have fun and be happy,” he said. “I’ve been paid on the lower end and had a blast, and I’ve been paid on the higher end and not enjoyed it at all.

“Honestly, money has never been the most important thing. Money is important because it shows how a team values you. But beyond that I don’t care all that much about money. Me coming here (for slightly more than $2 million a season) showed that.”

Lin said the chemistry the Hornets developed this season was special and rarer than fans might realize.

“I definitely want to play with these guys and this coach,” Lin said, referring to Steve Clifford. “When you bounce around a lot the way I have, seeing a lot of organizations, there’s a lot about this one that I can appreciate in terms of my experience, that maybe I didn’t have in other situations.”

If the Hornets are willing to pony up the money (Lin should command upwards of $10 million per year in this market), they wold appear to be the leaders in the clubhouse to sign him. But with the amount of money flying around and Charlotte also having to make big free-agent decisions on Nicolas Batum, Courtney Lee, Marvin Williams and Al Jefferson, somebody will have to be the odd man out.

Watch Dinwiddie get ejected for elbow to Poole’s face; Mavs still win behind Doncic 41 points

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Dallas has gotten in trouble this season because of a lack of secondary shot creation behind Luka Doncic, so when Spencer Dinwiddie got ejected for an elbow to the face of Golden State’s Jordan Poole, it seemed like the Mavericks might be in danger of falling to the Warriors.

Doncic had other plans — and a 41-point triple-double.

The ejection happened early in the fourth quarter, when Dinwiddie drove the lane on Poole and, bringing the ball up, elbowed Poole in the face.

That was reviewed by the referees who ruled it a Flagrant 2. The league has cracked down on blows to the face and head — intentional or not — the past couple of seasons.

Dinwiddie being out just meant more Luka — and that was bad news for the Warriors.

Despite Doncic and his triple-double, the Warriors had a couple of chances in the final seconds. First, Stephen Curry got called for a travel.

The Warriors argued that call but got nowhere with the referees. But they got one more chance on a Klay Thompson 3 to tie, but it was just not their night.

The Mavericks got the 116-113 win. Tim Hardaway Jr. pitched in 25 points, including five 3-pointers for Dallas. Curry led the Warriors with 32.

Timberwolves’ Karl-Anthony Towns out 4-6 weeks with calf strain

Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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It’s not good news, but it looked like it could have been much worse.

Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns is out for weeks with a right calf strain, the team announced Tuesday following an MRI exam. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports it is likely 4-6 weeks.

The injury occurred midway through the third quarter Monday when Towns started to run back upcourt and went to the ground without contact, grabbing his knee and calf. It looked scary — Achilles scary — and he had to be helped off the court.

Towns has averaged 21.4 points and 8.5 rebounds a game, and while his numbers are down this season — just 32.8% on 3-pointers — the team has struggled at times without him, particularly lineups with Rudy Gobert and Anthony Edwards together, an -11.8 net rating (in non-garbage time minutes, via Cleaning the Glass).

Kevin Durant on chasing MVP: ‘Not really, I’ve been there, done that’

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets
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Kevin Durant carried the Nets to another win Monday night, scoring 45 points on 19-of-24 shooting, plus seven rebounds and five assists.

If you’re having an MVP conversation a quarter of the way into the NBA season, Durant has to be part of it: 30 points per game on 54.8% shooting (and a ridiculous 65.9 true shooting percentage), 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists a game, plus playing solid defense and being the anchor of the Nets. After his 45-point outing to get Brooklyn a win over Orlando, Durant was asked about MVP chants and the chase for the award and was clearly not interested.

Durant has MVP numbers, but so do Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jayson Tatum and others. If Durant is going to move to the front of the conversation, the first thing that has to happen is Brooklyn has to win a lot more games — 11-11 is not going to cut it when Tatum’s Celtics and Antetokounmpo’s Bucks have the two best records in the NBA. Winning games and finishing on a top-three team in the conference matters to some voters (and traditionally is one measure of an MVP).

Watch Herb Jones inbound off Pokusevski’s back, seal win for Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder v New Orleans Pelicans
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With 2.3 seconds left in the game and the Thunder down 2, they needed to steal the inbounds pass from New Orleans to have a real chance. That’s why when Aleksej Pokusevski walked on the court it looked like he was going to guard the inbounder, Herbert Jones.

Instead, Pokusevski turned his back to Jones, putting himself in position to step in front of anyone cutting to the ball to catch the inbounds. Except, Jones made the clever play to seal the game.

Pokusevski fouled Jones, who sank both free throws and sealed the 105-101 Pelicans win.

The Pelicans got 23-8-8 from Zion Williamson and picked up a win without CJ McCollum or Brandon Ingram in the lineup. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continued his dominant start to the season and scored 31.