The Los Angeles Lakers have agreed a deal to sign Chinese Basketball star Yi Jianlian. According to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the team are in the latter stages of completing a one-year deal worth $8 million. Jianlian last played in the NBA during the 2011-12 season.
Yi Jianlian update: ESPN sources say the Lakers are now in the midst of finalizing a one-year deal in the $8 million range w/the China star.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 17, 2016
Report: Los Angeles Lakers Set To Sign Yi Jianlian To One-Year Deal
Yi Jianlian Player Profile
Jianlian is 28-years-old, seven-foot-tall and plays the power forward position. He was drafted to the NBA in 2007 by the Milwaukee Bucks. Jianlian was taken sixth overall, and was expected to be a star. But despite having played for Milwaukee, Brooklyn, Dallas and Washington, Jianlian never fulfilled his potential.
Jianlian clearly wasn’t ready to play at the highest level all those years ago, but has been given another chance to prove himself. For the last four seasons Jianlian has played for the Guangdong Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association. Last season Jianlian averaged 27.7 points per game and 10.9 rebounds.
Jianlian played in all of China’s group games, at this years Rio Olympics. In those five games Jianlian averaged 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds. Jianlian’s effort was all for nothing, as the Chinese national team lost all five of their preliminary games. China may have had a disappointing Olympics, but Jianlian did enough to impress the Lakers.
The Guangdong Tigers issued this statement Wednesday, “In order to help Yi seize this opportunity to play at the highest stage of the world and unfold his capability, in order to help Yi fulfil his dream and goal, we are offering our unconditional support and cooperation to Yi to make sure he joins [the] Lakers. Best wishes to Yi for his bright future in [the] NBA.”
What Does Jianlian Offer The Lakers
Jianlian will add key depth for a Lakers team, who will rely on Julius Randle at the power forward spot. Now Randle is promising, but it’s always good to have older more experienced players on the roster. The best word to describe Jianlian is helpful. The Chinese forward won’t develop into a star, but is good to have around.