Mavs GM Donnie Nelson told Jeremy Lin he was similar to Steve Nash, JJ Barea
Long before Jeremy Lin became an NBA sensation, he was undrafted and hoping for a chance to impress a team. The Mavericks gave him that chance by inviting him to play on their summer league squad. Mavs GM Donnie Nelson saw star potential in Lin.
“He said they had developed point guards like (Steve) Nash and (J.J.) Barea. And he was like ‘I feel like you have similarities. You need a lot of development.’ That’s why he called me before the draft ended to invite me to summer league,” Lin said of Nelson.
Nelson saw Lin play at a scouting tournament for college seniors, liked his game, and told him he was about a year away from being NBA ready. Dallas offered Lin a contract, but Jeremy decided to sign with his hometown Golden State Warriors. He played with the Warriors on and off last season, was released in December, claimed and released by the Rockets, and then he was picked up by the Knicks where he was nearly released before exploding. Had it not been for Nelson’s keen eye, it’s possible Lin would not have had a shot in the NBA.
Below are video highlights from Jeremy Lin’s summer league game against John Wall that really put him on the map: