Knicks’ Guard Jeremy Lin Switches Agents to Williams & Connolly

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin retained agent Jim Tanner of the Washington law firm Williams & Connolly LLP, joining the group that represents fellow National Basketball Association players Tim Duncan and Grant Hill.

The firm will handle Lin’s next NBA contract, marketing matters, licensing, personal appearances and other business opportunities, and collaborate with Lin’s former agent, Roger Montgomery, on free agency and other basketball-related matters, Williams & Connolly said in a statement.

“With the quality and character of their firm and clients, their extensive basketball experience and tremendous success in athlete representation, I am confident that Williams & Connolly will provide me with the guidance I need to continue to develop personally and professionally,” Lin said in a statement. “I am excited to have them work with Roger Montgomery and my current team.”

An e-mail sent to Montgomery yesterday seeking comment about Lin’s decision wasn’t returned.

Tanner’s clients include Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs’ forward, and Hill of the Phoenix Suns, whose president of basketball operations, Lon Babby, was a Williams & Connolly attorney and player agent prior to joining the NBA team. The Miami Heat’s Shane Battier and the Boston Celtics’ Ray Allen also are clients.

Lin’s emergence this season could lead to increased endorsements. The 23-year-old is a restricted free agent, meaning the Knicks have the opportunity to match any offer he receives.

A Harvard University graduate who was the first Chinese- or Taiwanese-American to play in the NBA, Lin was cut by two NBA teams before turning himself from a bench-warmer to a starter for the Knicks in February. The team won six straight games after he entered the starting lineup, and worldwide interest in Lin spawned a craze that became known as Linsanity. He had the term trademarked in May.

Lin went on to average 14.6 points and 6.2 assists per game as the Knicks made the playoffs.