Tuesday April 14th, 2015

Jeremy Lin said his relationship with the Lakers has improved, despite the point guard being benched midway through a last-place season, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"I think we made a lot of progress," Lin said. "I feel like they learned a lot about me, and we were able to grow and improve."

Lin will enter free agency this summer after averaging 11.2 points on 42.4% shooting, as well as 4.6 assists and 2.6 rebounds over 74 games, 30 of which he started. 

With one game left, Wednesday against the Kings, the Lakers own the NBA's fourth-worst record at 21-60. Lin, who has been sidelined for the team's last four games with a sore knee, conducted an exit interview with general manager Mitch Kupchak and coach Byron Scott on Tuesday.

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The 26-year-old guard saw his playing time fluctuate throughout the season, as he first lost his starting spot in December and was held out of a game entirely in January. Lin acknowledged this season's challenges but said he would invite a return to the Lakers, according to the Times.

Lin said he had a rough start adjusting to Scott's system, learning what the coach wanted from him.  Eventually, with injuries, the way the Lakers played changed to a game that more comfortably fit his style.

"I do think we're headed in the right direction," said Lin, who noted he's open for a return"

"Yeah, that would be great," said Lin, who said the team has to get through the draft lottery, NBA draft and free agency with a number of decisions to make.  "There's so much that needs to happen, but that's definitely an option for me."

Lin was traded to the Lakers from the Houston Rockets last summer after two uneven seasons in Houston. The Harvard grad earned $14.9 million for the 2014-15 season.

He said he would emphasize finding the right fit, as opposed to contract terms, during his free agency.

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- Alex Putterman

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