Charlotte Hornets

Charlotte Hornets sign point guard Jeremy Lin

The Charlotte Hornets signed free-agent point guard Jeremy Lin Thursday.
The Charlotte Hornets signed free-agent point guard Jeremy Lin Thursday. AP

Charlotte Hornets general manager Rich Cho says signing Jeremy Lin offers his team a “different dimension” at point guard.

The Hornets signed Lin Thursday, the first day NBA teams were allowed to sign free agents.

What specifically does Lin offer the Hornets?

“One thing he can really do is get into the paint,” Cho said in a conference call with Charlotte media. “With our second unit, that’s important. We have several players in our second unit who can benefit from that. All of them will benefit from his ability to get shots for others.”

That second unit is likely to include Jeremy Lamb, Marvin Williams, rookie Frank Kaminsky and Spencer Hawes. Each of those players is a solid jump shooter, but none is particularly strong at creating his own shot.

The Hornets will be Jeremy Lin’s fifth team in six NBA seasons

The Hornets will be Lin’s fifth team in six NBA seasons. He started out with the Golden State Warriors before making a big splash with the New York Knicks. Those were the “Linsanity” days, when Lin got on a hot streak that landed him on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

He then signed a free-agent contract with the Houston Rockets, where he played for two seasons before being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Over those five seasons, Lin has averaged 11.7 points and 4.8 assists, shooting 44 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range.

The Hornets’ various roster moves over the last month, which include four trades, add up to an intense effort to improve the team offensively. The Hornets finished last season 28th among 30 NBA teams in scoring (94.2 points per game), 29th in field-goal percentage (42 percent) and 30th in 3-point percentage (31.8 percent).

Cho said he’s not concerned that trade-off will significantly weaken the Hornets defensively.

We have made a concerted effort to improve offensively.

Hornets general manager Rich Cho

“We have made a concerted effort to improve offensively,” Cho said. “There’s always a trade-off, but coach (Steve Clifford) will do a great job.

“One thing Coach Clifford and his staff always do is get teams to play great team defense.”

Signing Lin means the Hornets now have 13 players under guaranteed contract. The NBA roster maximum is 15. Cho said the Hornets aren’t necessarily done in free agency.

“There’s still potential to do something else. We’re not entirely done yet,” Cho said.

Bonnell:704-358-5129; @rick_bonnell

Hornets projected depth chart

Position

Starter

Second team

Third team

Point guard

Kemba Walker

Jeremy Lin

Brian Roberts

Shooting guard

Nicolas Batum

Jeremy Lamb OR Troy Daniels OR P.J. Hairston

Small forward

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Marvin Williams

Hairston

Power forward

Cody Zeller OR Frank Kaminsky

Zeller OR Kaminsky

Williams

Center

Al Jefferson

Spencer Hawes

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