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Lakers Sign Yi Jianlian

AUGUST 23: Jianlian’s one-year deal is only guaranteed for $250K, but it counts for $8MM against the Lakers’ cap, according to Bobby Marks of The Vertical. The base salary, partially guaranteed for $250K, is worth the minimum ($1,139,123), while the deal features another $6,860,877 in likely incentives.Yi Jianlian vertical

AUGUST 22: The signing is official, the team announced.

AUGUST 17, 3:55pm: The proposed deal will pay Jianlian the veteran’s minimum, but incentives could push the total value upwards of $8MM, Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times tweets.

10:41am: The Lakers and Jianlian are finalizing a one-year deal that will pay him approximately $8MM, Stein tweets.

AUGUST 16: The Lakers and Yi Jianlian are in advanced talks to bring the big man to the NBA, sources tell Marc Stein of (Twitter link). Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times notes (Twitter link) that the Lakers had representatives at the Staples Center during USA’s exhibition game against China last month.

Yi was selected by the Bucks with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2007 NBA draft. After an up-and-down rookie season, he was traded to the Nets in a deal for Richard Jefferson. The 28-year-old last played in the NBA for the Mavericks during the 2011/12 season. He averaged 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds in just 6.8 minutes per game.

The Lakers have 14 players under contract, as the team’s depth chart at Roster Resource indicates. Yi would have competition for minutes. However, if Timofey Mozgov‘s groin injury lingers, he could possibly end up starting a few games for Los Angeles should he sign.

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29 thoughts on “Lakers Sign Yi Jianlian

  1. Danthemilwfan

    He had his chance. He’s just not that good. Be fun to see him in the NBA again but he doesn’t have the confidence or speed for the NBA.

  2. Surprisingly a Bucks Fan

    as a bucks fan, they should pass

  3. nikumistry

    Must have schooled up a foldaway chair again

  4. Ravens_Last_Place

    The Lakers have become The Losers. Instead of the Showtime Lakers these are the Garbagetime Losers.

    • aarongill

      What does that make your Sixers then?

      • Ravens_Last_Place

        Who says I’m a Sixers fan? They are garbage too. But they aren’t arrogant like the Lakers. The Sixers seem to have a plan, a crappy plan, but a plan nonetheless. The Lakers are hilarious though.

        • Eddie Scarito

          I’d respectfully disagree about the Sixers plan. They have quite a collection of young talent. It needs to gel on the court, which isn’t a given. But Philly is a franchise on the upswing (which admittedly, is the only way it can go at this point). Sixers fans should have something to puff out their chests over in a season or two. Especially if they can get a solid return for Noel or Okafor.

          • Ravens_Last_Place

            The Lakers need to get talent. Then make it gel. Maybe the Lakers could use Okafor or Noel? lol. The Garbagetime Losers need some talent ASAP.

          • The Lakers have more talent than the Sixers though. I’ll agree that the Sixers’ young stars (Simmons, Noel, Okafor, and I’ll throw Embiid in there to please you) seem more promising/talented than the Lakers’ (Ingram, Russell, Nance, Randle) but the role players on the Lakers are much better. After their young players, the next best players on the Sixers are Covington and maybe Grant. The Lakers, on the other hand, have Deng (who is better than both Covington and Grant), Lou Williams, and Mozgov (who admittedly isn’t that good, but is better than the Sixers’ backup bigs and is more of a sure thing than Embiid right now).

          • MiddleIn

            Embiid in a walking boot is better than ANY Laker big or small.

      • DannyQ3913


        • Ravens_Last_Place

          Better? The Lakers will be in the running for the worst record lol. Sixers will continue to improve. Lakers look worse than even last season, and that’s pathetic.

          • aarongill

            You are a Sixers fan as you’ve shown before who hates the lakers and Celtics. Sixers might only get to 20 win while the lakers will be at 25. Lakers have more talent.

          • Ravens_Last_Place

            I am not a Sixers fan. I promise. The Lakers and Celtics are hilarious. Two franchises that were once proud but are now in the dumps. I love their mistakes.

          • aarongill

            You are a Sixers fan. How are the Celtics a dump? They got the sixth seed and signed a good free agent. If you want to hate on other teams, reveal the team you really like than tough guy.

          • You’re not a Sixers fan “right now” but once they start playing well you’ll hop on the bandwagon right? For someone who always bashes the Celtics and firmly believes Embiid will be a top 3 center next year (without having ever played a game) you sound like a Sixers fan.

  5. Z.....

    Still has talent, but still tentative against good competition. You see it when he is in international competition too. All of his good moments seem to come in garbage time. It’s like he puts too much pressure on himself against good players. He also was never much of a worker. Should be interesting to see if he can figure out anything, if he indeed does come over. If anything, he can always go back to China and continue to dominate out there

    • Eddie Scarito

      Looks like it’s happening. Still shaking my head at $8MM for a backup center who owns a 7.9 career PPG average and has been out of league for four years. Really not sure what LA’s thinking is on this one (outside of merch sales in China).

      • Z.....

        Off the top of my head, my guess would be that he gives them someone besides Deng and Ingram that can stretch the floor at the 4 spot. That being said, like you, I dont understand that amount of money, when I cant see a rotation spot for him, unless maybe they give him minutes at the 5, which just seems like a really bad idea

        • Eddie Scarito

          Lakers have indicated he’ll back up Mozgov at center if signed.

          • Z.....

            a scary thought for them. Wonder how they plan on using Zubac in his rookie season…Personally, I dont see a spot in the rotation for Yi without hurting a couple of the young guys’ minutes, which doesnt make much sense for them.

          • aarongill

            Zubac isn’t ready yet. He’s only 19 and needs another 2-3 years. The deal is vet min but incentives could push it up.

  6. Richard

    Yep, must be the Kobe connection w/ China. $8m for a year’s good PR is nothing to the Buss family. He made a huge stink playing for the Bucks 10 yrs ago. Had to “console” him that it’d be good for him. Ended up with the Nets, then the Mavs. Decent player, but nothing a team couldn’t find here stateside. So, snatch up Stephen Jax-he’s availible too! Or Rip Hamilton, J Terry, other players from the 2000’s….set up yer NBA Live Rosters!

    • CursedRangers

      I couldn’t ever imagine having an extra $8M laying around. But if I did, and I spent it on PR, I would hope someone would proceed to give me a couple swift kicks to the groin.

  7. rxbrgr

    How does that affect their cap sheet? I noticed the LAL only had about $8m left in space. Does it take up that or just $1.1?

    • Eddie Scarito

      It depends whether or not the league deems the incentives attainable and what type they are. We’ll need to see the final contract details before we know for sure. From Larry Coon’s Salary Cap FAQ:

      “There are three categories of allowable incentives: performance, academic/physical achievement, and extra promotional. The latter two categories are always included in the player’s salary and team salary amounts. Performance incentives are classified as either “likely to be achieved” or “not likely to be achieved,” with only the likely incentives included in the player’s salary and team salary amounts. The determination of whether an incentive is likely or unlikely is based on whether the criterion was achieved in the previous season. For example, if a player had seven assists per game the previous season, then an incentive based on seven assists per game would be classified as likely to be achieved, but one based on eight assists per game would be classified as not likely.

      If either the league or players association feels that the previous season does not fairly predict the performance in the current season, then a jointly-selected expert determines whether the default classification should be overruled. This can happen when the player was injured the previous season.”

  8. So no plans to have Metta return? The addition of Yi and the pending addition of Ingram once signed will run the lakers to 15 guaranteed deals for next year (assuming the Yi deal is indeed fully guaranteed). Then again Metta did beat out others to earn the final roster spot on the Lakers last season so it doesnt fully count him out from the running just yet.

  9. I have to believe that there are at least 100 more viable players in the D-League… or even in an AAU League than Yi Jianlian. Simply being the tallest player on the court in China and figuring out that dunking over short guys equates to 2 points, does not make him worth 8 M pesos, let alone dollars.

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