An unrestricted free agent, Yi Jianlian is reportedly drawing interest overseas — we heard yesterday that Real Madrid was giving him a look. However, Yi's preference would be to continue his NBA career, says Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall.com, translating a NetEase report. According to Pastuszek, Lu Yu, one of Yi's representatives, has said that he views Europe as a secondary option for the Chinese big man.
"For now, we’re not considering playing in Spain," said Lu. "I can only say that Yi’s first choice is to return to the NBA."
As Pastuszek points out, Yi's performance in Dallas last year, combined with the strained MCL he suffered during Olympic play, has likely cooled any interest from NBA teams. Based on Yi's reported salary request of two million euros from Real Madrid, it's unlikely the Spanish team could afford him anyway, says Pastuszek.
While reports yesterday suggested that Real Madrid was eyeing both Yi and Darko Milicic, various outlets have suggested today that the chances of signing either player are dwindling. Pastuszek passes along word from French outlet BasketNews that Real Madrid have cut off negotiations with Yi, while HoopsHype translates a Kosarka 24 report that suggests Darko has passed on the team's offer.