The Lakers and Yi Jianlian finalizing deal

The Lakers and Yi Jianlian finalizing deal

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Last night it was reported that the Lakers and Yi Jianlian were in serious talks about a deal.

This morning, Marc Stein has reported that the Lakers and Yi are finalizing a one-year, $8 million deal.

Yi Jianlian last played in the NBA during the 2011-12 season. He has career averages of 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds on 40.4% from the field. Yi has talked in the past about his poor work ethic as a cause for the former #6 finding himself out of the league, and after a few impressive years in China (yes, I know, China), he seems primed for a comeback.

Last season in China, Yi had an impressive season, and his career could be back on the right track

This move is a low risk move. Either Yi taps into what made him a #6 pick and finds a home, or he plays poorly and he’s off the book next season. The Lakers do have a logjam at forward, but with the health concerns of Mozgov (ones I do not really think will be an issue) and the overall youth of the team, Yi could be a solid 13th man for the Lakers. What Yi’s role will be is unclear, but with the reports that the Lakers tried to sign him last season, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that they went after him again.

The only negative that could come out of the signing is if Yi plays heavy minutes ahead of any of the Lakers core young players, but the Lakers are no longer coached by Byron Scott, so that shouldn’t be a worry.

 

UPDATE: We have a bit more clarity on Jianlian’s contract. It appears to be incentive heavy, with it being at minimum a $1.1 million, non-guaranteed deal.

We should have even more clarity on the contract over the next day or so.

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