It has been reported by multiple sources that Yi Jianlian will be back in the NBA donning a Los Angeles Lakers jersey. If you have not heard of him, maybe it is for two reasons.
First, he played for the Guangdong Southern in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) where he averaged 10 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game in the 2015-2016 season. Does not sound stellar at all does it?
Second, you might have heard of him and watched him play but he was someone one can easily forget. He played in the NBA when he was drafted in the 2007-2008 season. His performance was also far from stellar. He was more of a journeyman at best. His NBA career averages are 2.9 points per game and 4.9 rebounds per game. He is far from a positive contributor.
Yi Jianlian may be the last person one could imagine to get signed by the LA Lakers next season for an $8 million dollar deal. But it looks like he is getting one.
Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that the Chinese star and the Lakers are in the final stages of the deal. An official revealed that the deal will be $1.139 million. This is the Chinese star?s minimum. Also, this could reach seven million more if Yi Jianlian could reach some wide-ranging incentive bonus. The deal is being worked on as both parties have to iron out paperworks. It was revealed too that Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak wanted to sign Yi Jianlian for the 2015-2016 season but they were not able to.
Why? Just why someone with his past performance deserve such a deal? Here?s a theory that Jason Concepcion of The Ringer put out. It?s for the dolla dolla bills, ya?ll. It makes perfect sense too.
He pointed out that with Kobe Bryant out of the picture, Yi Jianlian could keep the ?Chinese currency? flowing into the franchise. Also, a one year contract for Yi keeps the Lakers cap space a little healthy and would remain at a little over 23 million. So this makes perfect greenback sense.