The Lakers have been relatively quiet this summer after the free agency push in early July. There have been plenty of rumors, though nothing has been official. Marc Stein of ESPN announced today that the Lakers were in advanced discussions to acquire former #6 pick Yi Jianlian.
The Los Angeles Lakers are in advanced discussions to try to bring China star Yi Jianlian back to the NBA, according to league sources.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 17, 2016
The Chinese superstar was once a traveling man for the NBA. After being selected 6th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks, he was touted as the “next Yao Ming”. Things never really clicked for the 7’0 big man out of He Shan, China. Yi’s first season in Milwaukee he averaged 8.6 points with 5.2 rebounds. Injuries plagued him all season, however, and he was shut down after 66 games. Yi was then traded to the New Jersey Nets for Richard Jefferson.
New Jersey and beyond
Yi Jianlian played in New Jersey for two seasons having his best season in 2009-2010 where he averaged 12 points and 7 boards. Injuries continued to plague him was only able to play in 61 and 52 games in the 2 seasons he played in New Jersey. On June 29th 2010 he was traded to the Washington Wizards for Quinton Ross. After averaging a career low in minutes, points, and rebounds the Wizards did not extend Yi and he left the NBA. After a season with the Guangdon Southern Tigers Yi Jianlian was signed by the Dallas Mavericks. Playing in a few games and 1 playoff series he was out of the NBA for good.
What it means
What this means for the Lakers? Not much at this point. This could be a number of things. It could be an agent spreading rumors to build interest in his client. It could be the Lakers filling out the roster in case Nick Young is going to be traded. It also could be just a minor camp invite which is normal for this time of year. Bottom line is that this is all in the “discussions” stage at this point. Until the details are given by the, notoriously tightlipped, Lakers organization you can continue to speculate what their plans are.
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