Lin did not receive much interest in free agency, and quietly remained one of the better point guards available on the market. With teams focused on bigger names like Monta Ellis, Cory Joseph, and Patrick Beverley. The Hornets were at no point rumored to be pursuing Lin, either.
Lin instantly adds some size to the Hornets' backcourt. He's a legit 6'3", and fairly strong despite a reputation as a poor athlete. Lin's most often remembered for Linsanity, a stint of games he played for the New York Knicks in which he led the team to unlikely wins while dominating on offense. At one point during that stretch, he won Eastern Conference Player of the Month honors, averaging 27.3 points, 8.3 assists and two steals per game while leading the Knicks to a 4-0 record.
Once Lin left New York, however, perception quickly changed. His defense is not great due to poor lateral quickness and an average wingspan. His shot is inconsistent. He can be very turnover prone.
But that doesn't mean Lin's a bad player. In fact, he's probably underrated at this point.
Lin averaged 11.2 points, 4.6 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals in 25.8 minutes per game with the Los Angeles Lakers last season. His turnover percentage was a career-low 17.7 percent despite the fact that his usage percentage was the highest it had been since his season with the Knicks. He also shot a career-high 36.9 percent from the 3-point line.
With the Hornets, Lin will likely back up Kemba Walker, leaving Brian Roberts as a reserve in many situations. Lin's size and vision are a nice contrast to Walker's speed and scoring, and it's likely we'll see Lin and Walker share the floor this season. Head coach Steve Clifford is well known for being able to hide players' defensive deficiencies, and that should offset Lin's weaknesses on that end a bit. With no real interior defensive presence this season, however, it might not be as easy as it's been in seasons past.
All in all, Lin is an excellent signing for the Hornets. He's a savvy, quietly underrated player at this point in his career, and will fit in nicely right away. You know what you're getting with Lin, and that's a welcome change from the Hornets' backup point guards of the last few years.