The <i>Los Angeles Times</i> reported overnight that the Golden State Warriors are set to offer a guaranteed contract to Harvard guard Jeremy Lin. Such a signing would break a long streak in the NBA, that being an Asian-American signed to a guaranteed contract, and a player from Harvard suiting up in the NBA.
Lin is from the San Francisco Bay area and, thus, playing in Oakland will be a homecoming for the Ivy League product. But the Warriors were not the only team considering inking Lin to a guaranteed contract. Lin's impressive NBA Summer League performance opened a few eyes, but ultimately it will be the Warriors giving him the chance at the next level.
The first time Jeremy Lin steps onto the floor in the regular season, he will become just the fourth player in NBA history to log time after playing his collegiate ball at Harvard. The others include Wyndol Gray, who played two seasons from 1946-1948, Saul Mariaschin, who played one season for the Celtics in 1947-1948, and Ed Smith, who played 11 games for the New York Knicks in 1953.
The 6'3", 200-pound Lin caught the eye of NBA scouts following a senior season in which he averaged 16.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.4 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. He achieved All-Conference standing in the Ivy League.
The Warriors are the team that signed Lin, but the Mavericks and Lakers also monitored him. The Mavericks went so far as to consider Lin to run the point for their NBDL team, while the Lakers contacted Lin's agent, regarding a reserve role for the two-time defending champs.
The Warriors signed Lin, a Palo Alto native, to a one-year, $500,000 contract. There may also be a second, non-guaranteed year tacked onto the contract. "That's every player's dream," Lin's agent Roger Montgomery told the <i>Boston Globe</i>, referring to Lin's desire to play close to his Northern California hometown.
Lin follows in the footsteps of the now 86-year-old Wataru "Wat" Misaka, who was the first Asian-American to play professional basketball in the United States. The Utah native played at the University of Utah before being selected by the Knicks in the 1947 draft. He scored seven points over three games for the Knicks before he was cut.
However, more recently, the Warriors decision to sign Lin comes on the heels of somewhat overlooked news. The Portland Trail Blazers' hiring of Rich Cho to become their new general manager was a ground-breaking move in the NBA. As a result, Cho became the first Asian-American general manager in NBA history.