Future generations will look back, with a mix of awe and horror, on August 17, 2016, as the day when everything changed. Yi Jianlian is (almost) back, heading to the Lakers for a reported $8 million, one-year deal.
The Los Angeles Lakers have signed forward/center Yi Jianlian, it was announced today by General Manager Mitch Kupchak. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not released.
“We’re excited to have a player of his worldwide accomplishments,” said Kupchak. “We look forward to bringing him to training camp and hopefully having him make an impact on our team.”
Yi Jianlian is 28 years old, who hails from the Guangdong Province in China, recently concluded competing for his country at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, averaging 20.4 points (3rd overall in group play competition), 6.6 rebounds (6th), 1.4 steals (t-6th), and 1.0 blocks (t-6th) per game over his five contests while shooting 46.7% from three-point range.
Drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Yi last appeared in the NBA with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2011-12 season. Over his five-year NBA career, the 6’11’’ Yi averaged 7.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks in 22.2 minutes per game over 272 contests (163 starts) with the Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, and Mavericks.
Prior to joining the NBA, the 28-year-old played professionally for the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association beginning in 2002, and played the last four seasons with the organization as well. He is a four-time CBA champion, eight-time CBA MVP, and two-time CBA Finals MVP, in addition to a decorated international career that includes winning three gold medals at the FIBA Asia Championships (2015, 2011, and 2005) and gold at the 2006 Asian Games.
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