Nets guard Jeremy Lin believes Brooklyn, which finished with the worst record in the NBA this season, could make the playoffs next year if the team stays healthy.
"I hope we can be very healthy next year. I feel we can get into the playoffs," Lin said in an interview with JD.com (via SLAM) that was translated by a Reddit user. "If we didn't get injured this year… I mean, I only played 24 minutes a game this year. If I could play more of if I didn't get injured, I feel we have a chance of getting into the playoffs."
Lin averaged 14.5 points, 5.1 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 36 games with Brooklyn last season, missing extended periods of time due to various ankle and hamstring injuries.
In the extensive interview, Lin said he was "afraid to jump and take contact" near the rim because of his hamstring injury. He added that he hopes to work on his 3-point shot and to take more 3-pointers next season.
"I feel that if you look at our record this year, I can't give myself a very high grade. But I'm very happy that when I'm healthy, I performed well," said Lin, whose Nets finished with a 20-62 record but won't pick until at least No. 27 because of their 2013 trade with the Boston Celtics. "However, I was injured and miss about 50 games. So from that perspective, that's obviously not good. I hope I can be healthy next year. This summer, I'll be spending a lot of time protecting my body."
While GM Sean Marks said the team will be patient in its rebuild and would likely not sign a player to a max deal in free agency yet, Lin said he was reaching out to several free agents to try to lure them to Brooklyn.
"I'll be recruiting," Lin said. There are already a lot of friends, past teammates of mine, asking if they could join us. ... I have about five of my past teammates [who] already texted me, asking if I could recommend them so that they could be traded and play with us.
"Last year, we didn't win a lot of games, but our team was really close, coaches treated us really well," added Lin, who did not disclose any specific names. "Our playstyle, we kept passing the ball well, we played for each other. I feel like other players saw this. We were really happy for each other. When my teammates scored, I'd be happy for them. Not every NBA team is like this. If you're playing on a selfish team, I feel it's really not fun to play with them. So I think other players saw this and hopefully they'll want to join us."