Lakers Reportedly in Talks to Sign Yi Jianlian

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lakerdude
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Lakers reportedly in talks to sign former top-10 pick Yi Jianlian

By Nunzio Ingrassia

Aug 16, 2016 at 10:53p ET

It's been five years since former No. 6 pick Yi Jianlian played in the NBA, but it looks like the Los Angeles Lakers might change that.

The Lakers are in "advanced discussions" to bring Yi back from China, ESPN reported Tuesday.

Yi was drafted by the Bucks in 2007 as a 20-year-old but lasted only one season before being dealt to the Nets. He spent two seasons in New Jersey, averaging a career high in points (12.0) and rebounds (7.2) in 2009-10.

Yi last played in the NBA with the Mavericks during the 2011-12 season, appearing in a career-low 30 games. He has played in the Chinese Basketball Association since that final NBA season.

The 28-year-old forward was one of the bright spots for the winless Chinese national team at the Rio Games, averaging 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds.

The Lakers have 13 players under contract, leaving them with two open spots.

TimmyDoe
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Always thought Yi could have been a fine player in the NBA. I even thought he could have been an all star in the right situation. But...where does he fit in? The signing would be confusing to me. We have Russ/Clarkson/Deng/Randle/Mozzy then Calderon/Lou/Ingram/Nance/black-Zoo.

mcbill
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Center insurance? Small ball? Watching his highlights made me wonder what Andray Blatche is up to these days?

GhostNugget
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Better than Ryan Kelly...

lakedson
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The guy has a pretty good Basketball IQ... Pretty good pick and roll, good shot blocker... Need him since we seem to spend $$$ for Mozgov for nothing, he is hurt....

kkennon1
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So they sign him for 8 million, but they're actually paying him 1 million. Was the rest all for buy out....smh

Dave
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GhostNugget wrote:
Better than Ryan Kelly...

Yeah my thoughts exactly. Yi will help bolster the bench, and an uptempo offense should increase his effectiveness. I thinking maybe 6 ppg & 3 boards a game in 13-15 minutes.

Tempy
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I don't understand the signing. With Randle and Nance the Lakers are set at pf, Should injuries occur Deng showed he can slide over to the 4 with Miami last year. Why sign another?

The only reason I can come up with, is to sell jerseys in China. With Kobe off the books merchandise is going to fall off massively. Smh.

userpete1037
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Welcome to Linsanity 2.0.....smh. We couldn't convince Larry Sanders to play?....lol.

Tempy
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https://mobile.twitter.com/Mike_Bresnah ... 7114418180

So the Lakers have $30 million tied up in Mozgov, Yi and Black. Or 31.8% of the salary cap.

They average 19.8 points and 15 rebounds COMBINED. (Career per game).

WatchTheSkyFall24
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His stats for the Olympics:

Tempy
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userpete1037 wrote:
Welcome to Linsanity 2.0.....smh. We couldn't convince Larry Sanders to play?....lol.

I'm looking through the remaining available free agents;

Motiejunas, Seraphin, Kaman, Sims, Ayres, Perkins, Hollins are listed over on hoopshype as still unsigned.

I'd rather take a flyer on Sonatas Motiejunas and see if his back is healed or as you said Sanders. I just don't see what Yi brings other than Jersey sales in China.

IhatetheCeltics
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Marketing move to appeal to the Chinese fan base. Nothing more to this.

Tempy
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WatchTheSkyFall24 wrote:
His stats for the Olympics:

China lost every game they played. To the USA by 57, to France by 28, to Venezuela by 4, to Australia by 25 and Serbia by 34. They didn't score more than 68 points in any game.

Yi had a +/- of -19. Was the number #1 option on offense so don't be mislead with his points per game.

userpete1037
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IhatetheCeltics wrote:
Marketing move to appeal to the Chinese fan base. Nothing more to this.

Has to be....lol.

lakedson
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IhatetheCeltics wrote:
Marketing move to appeal to the Chinese fan base. Nothing more to this.

also true

WatchTheSkyFall24
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I believe this is more of a business move than a basketball move. Entering the Chinese market can be very lucrative, and signing China's best player in the wake of the Olympics is smart business. It's going to create extra revenue streams and they will most likely profit from the signing.

tmike23
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Those olympic stats make this look like a great deal. I don't think it's a bad move though. I'm sure with Kobe gone, the franchise definitely needed a face that helped attract the Chinese market as well.

showtimelakers11
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The contract starts at the vet min., is non-guaranteed, and can raise up to 8 mil with incentives via Mike Bresnahan. So, this isn't terrible. See what he does in camp. As mentioned above, he's better than Kelly.

AllinOneSports
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Good move. Gotta use the cap space somewhere and at the very least could sell a ton of jerseys if he makes the team. Will probably be battling with Zach Auguste for one of the last spots on the 15 man.

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lakedson wrote:
also true

There's another angle perhaps, I am convinced the Lakers are gonna make a serious play for Boogie Cousins and if Yi can be impressive, he's an inexpensive flyer to be tossed in the trade mix or to remain a Laker allowing the movement of Zubak or Black plus a PF. The Lakers are overloaded at Center and to some extent Power Forward again. The talk to run Ingram as as back-up 2 is very intriguing and takes some of the pressure off of finding him playing time given the backlog. I expect a trade before the Trade Deadline next season of substantial proportions.

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GhostNugget wrote:
Better than Ryan Kelly...

Any word on what he's gonna do? Feel sorry for the kid. Recently married and likely gonna be playing in China. Maybe he'll take Yi's spot? Smile

userpete1037
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^^^

Hopefully R. Kelly can sing....lmao!!!!

lakedson
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Skyeword wrote:
There's another angle perhaps, I am convinced the Lakers are gonna make a serious play for Boogie Cousins and if Yi can be impressive, he's an inexpensive flyer to be tossed in the trade mix or to remain a Laker allowing the movement of Zubak or Black plus a PF. The Lakers are overloaded at Center and to some extent Power Forward again. The talk to run Ingram as as back-up 2 is very intriguing and takes some of the pressure off of finding him playing time given the backlog. I expect a trade before the Trade Deadline next season of substantial proportions.

I hope not... I see something really special in Zubac... He seems to genuinely have a love for the game, you can see it on his play... He will be really special, give him the experience and time...

Skyeword
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lakedson wrote:
I hope not... I see something really special in Zubac... He seems to genuinely have a love for the game, you can see it on his play... He will be really special, give him the experience and time...

I agree completely but if Sacramento offers Boogie Cousins for Zubac (and others) this season, you do it.

Tempy
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lakedson wrote:
I hope not... I see something really special in Zubac... He seems to genuinely have a love for the game, you can see it on his play... He will be really special, give him the experience and time...

The scenario is pretty similar to the gasol trade. Do you give up Zubac (Marc Gasol) for Cousins (Pau) and become better instantly instead of a maybe in the future.

Obviously a lot more assets are going to be required for any such trade to happen which changes the dynamic of any trade proposal.

At some point the Lakers have to trade somebody. Ingram, Randle, Clarkson and Russell all need the ball to be effective. Should they all be kept they will also take up all the cap space, even worse if the owners get rid of the 25%/30%/35% model that is currently in place.

Skyeword
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Tempy wrote:
The scenario is pretty similar to the gasol trade. Do you give up Zubac (Marc Gasol) for Cousins (Pau) and become better instantly instead of a maybe in the future.

Obviously a lot more assets are going to be required for any such trade to happen which changes the dynamic of any trade proposal.

At some point the Lakers have to trade somebody. Ingram, Randle, Clarkson and Russell all need the ball to be effective. Should they all be kept they will also take up all the cap space, even worse if the owners get rid of the 25%/30%/35% model that is currently in place.

For a moment there I thought you were comparing Pau to Demarcus.... Whew! My reality check filter was spiking. LOL

Tempy
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Skyeword wrote:
For a moment there I thought you were comparing Pau to Demarcus.... Whew! My reality check filter was spiking. LOL

No, not even. I like Cousins, he is one of the most talented centers in the league admittedly in a very poor class in today's NBA but I was one of the few around here that stuck up for Pau when everyone wanted him gone.

Dave
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Sounds like it's going to be a vet minimum deal- so pretty much a no risk/high(ish)-reward situation signing Yi Jianlian. Other than the Mozgov overpay, I think the front office has made some pretty prudent moves.

Luke...
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Yi might do well, (not having high hopes) but he can possibly do better than his last stint in the NBA.

  1. the current NBA has fewer physical bigs. 2. He can stretch it out a bit. 3. He can play PF or C 4. He may not have force, but he has some skills. 5. can't really hurt to have him. 6. He is older and more filled out then when he was younger I believe.

Sure I would rather have had Sanders, but it doesn't look as though other teams are getting him either... perhaps he really isn't ever coming back.

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Tempy wrote:
No, not even. I like Cousins, he is one of the most talented centers in the league admittedly in a very poor class in today's NBA but I was one of the few around here that stuck up for Pau when everyone wanted him gone.

Pau, with two Championships and a career average of a double-double, is a HOFer.

And he was on the last of the great Lakers teams. What have we done without Pau? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

Aone
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my friend met Yi at a golf course a year or two back, asked him to join the lakers and help us get back to winning. my friend told me his exact words were "theres no hope for them". i guess money changes things, but i will never forgive him LOL

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Aone wrote:
my friend met Yi at a golf course a year or two back, asked him to join the lakers and help us get back to winning. my friend told me his exact words were "theres no hope for them". i guess money changes things, but i will never forgive him LOL

I think your friend thinking Yi could change the direction of the franchise is funnier.

Aone
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Tempy wrote:
I think your friend thinking Yi could change the direction of the franchise is funnier.

he said it as a joke, what most people say when they see a celebrity basketball player to endear them, it wasn't serious. but i guess the FO thought it was a good idea.

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Tempy wrote:
I'm looking through the remaining available free agents;

Motiejunas, Seraphin, Kaman, Sims, Ayres, Perkins, Hollins are listed over on hoopshype as still unsigned.

I'd rather take a flyer on Sonatas Motiejunas and see if his back is healed or as you said Sanders. I just don't see what Yi brings other than Jersey sales in China.

I was thinking, if this is the best they could do, why not just bring Sacre back? Or as I keep saying, take on K-Mart for vet min.

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BaadMaster wrote:
Pau, with two Championships and a career average of a double-double, is a HOFer.

And he was on the last of the great Lakers teams. What have we done without Pau? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!!

The mistakes and changing climate on the Lakers was evident when Pau started going south here. As the team went, so went Pau. And Kobe was starting to show his age. It all came undone. The coaching changes, the lack of FO direction, the haphazard line ups. Pau was caught in the crosshairs. Had things remained stable he may have stayed and continued to play well. I also don't think he really fit the "LA lifestyle", being an educated man, and white, and thoughtful. LA is a shallow town, not built for guys like that. With Phil as coach at least he had a near equal. Historically LA is very transient. Tho that is starting to change. If OC had a team he might have fared better there.

IhatetheCeltics
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It's clear the organization is betting on the young guys. Those are the guys who are going to see a majority of the minutes, and rightfully so. The Yi signing isn't great, but it isn't bad to me. It's just whatever. Whether it was Yi, Sacre, Seraphin, it doesn't matter. They are running with the young guys anyways. So why not do a marketing move and squeeze some dollars out of the chinese fanbase? It just doesn't matter. You guys are talking about guys who won't be playing big minutes. lol.

Tempy
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IhatetheCeltics wrote:
It's clear the organization is betting on the young guys. Those are the guys who are going to see a majority of the minutes, and rightfully so. The Yi signing isn't great, but it isn't bad to me. It's just whatever. Whether it was Yi, Sacre, Seraphin, it doesn't matter. They are running with the young guys anyways. So why not do a marketing move and squeeze some dollars out of the chinese fanbase? It just doesn't matter. You guys are talking about guys who won't be playing big minutes. lol.

I think it's more about the message the FO is sending to the league and future free agents. When was the last time the Lakers overpaid on over the hill free agents? Sure they signed Malone and Payton well beyond their prime but it wasn't for crazy money.

Milking fans for every Kobe $ last year, now moving on to a semi star from China? That's not a franchise that is interested in basketball decisions, it's purely business. Which rubs a lot of fans the wrong way.

All these promises year after year about getting back into the playoffs with no one held accountable for failure. But hey, so long as the Lakers continue making vast profits who gives a sh1t right?

IhatetheCeltics
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Tempy wrote:
I think it's more about the message the FO is sending to the league and future free agents. When was the last time the Lakers overpaid on over the hill free agents? Sure they signed Malone and Payton well beyond their prime but it wasn't for crazy money.

Milking fans for every Kobe $ last year, now moving on to a semi star from China? That's not a franchise that is interested in basketball decisions, it's purely business. Which rubs a lot of fans the wrong way.

All these promises year after year about getting back into the playoffs with no one held accountable for failure. But hey, so long as the Lakers continue making vast profits who gives a sh1t right?

It's a one year deal for the minimum w/ incentives that get it to 8 million. lol. Frankly, no one is going to look at Yi and say it's the end of the world. They are going to ride or die with this young core, that much should be apparent to everyone. I just don't see the big deal at all. Business and basketball are always connected. So long as it doesn't mess up the young core, what does it really matter? Free agents in the future aren't going to look at Yi. They are going to look at how well these young players(Russell, Randle, Ingram, Clarkson) pan out. They are the guys that matter.

Tempy
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IhatetheCeltics wrote:
It's a one year deal for the minimum w/ incentives that get it to 8 million. lol. Frankly, no one is going to look at Yi and say it's the end of the world. They are going to ride or die with this young core, that much should be apparent to everyone. I just don't see the big deal at all. Business and basketball are always connected. So long as it doesn't mess up the young core, what does it really matter? Free agents in the future aren't going to look at Yi. They are going to look at how well these young players(Russell, Randle, Ingram, Clarkson) pan out. They are the guys that matter.

The money is not the issue, it's the intentions of the FO. They could have signed a player like MWP or Brand to mentor the youngsters. That would have more of an impact than signing Yi.

The Lakers have one chance to develop this young core, wouldn't it make sense to do everything possible to get every last bit of potential out of them?

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Tempy wrote:
The money is not the issue, it's the intentions of the FO. They could have signed a player like MWP or Brand to mentor the youngsters. That would have more of an impact than signing Yi.

The Lakers have one chance to develop this young core, wouldn't it make sense to do everything possible to get every last bit of potential out of them?

Yeah, or K-Mart. I'm really trying to get that guy a job lol

userpete1037
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This is all about relationship with China. I believe somebody stated it earlier. Nothing more.

kkennon1
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userpete1037 wrote:
This is all about relationship with China. I believe somebody stated it earlier. Nothing more.

Totally agree, got to keep up that far East Cash flow. Lol

Ray
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According to a Twitter post that Eric Pincus agreed to, we basically brought Yi for 2 reasons.

1. Theres a very small chance he could be a good piece for our bench.

If that don't work out.

2. His contract incentives are setup to where at trade deadline he is a 8mil trade for us, but the team he goes to could cut him for only 804k right after trade goes through. He is basically the best throw in contract to make a trade work, where neither team has get stuck with him if they don't want to.

Tempy
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Ray wrote:
According to a Twitter post that Eric Pincus agreed to, we basically brought Yi for 2 reasons.

1. Theres a very small chance he could be a good piece for our bench.

If that don't work out.

2. His contract incentives are setup to where at trade deadline he is a 8mil trade for us, but the team he goes to could cut him for only 804k right after trade goes through. He is basically the best throw in contract to make a trade work, where neither team has get stuck with him if they don't want to.

That's providing a team just wants to get rid of a player and take nothing in return. Those deals are often salary dumps where picks are included. The Lakers are not going to take on a bad contract when they have already purposely structured contracts to have space for a max contract next summer.

Considering the FO couldn't get anything for D12, Pau, Hill, an expiring Nash contract, multiple disabled player exceptions and multiple trade exceptions. I think the likelihood of getting something in a trade for him is extremely small.

People are just looking for ways to justify the deal. Same happened with Lin and Hibbert.

Ray
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Tempy wrote:
That's providing a team just wants to get rid of a player and take nothing in return. Those deals are often salary dumps where picks are included. The Lakers are not going to take on a bad contract when they have already purposely structured contracts to have space for a max contract next summer.

Considering the FO couldn't get anything for D12, Pau, Hill, an expiring Nash contract, multiple disabled player exceptions and multiple trade exceptions. I think the likelihood of getting something in a trade for him is extremely small.

People are just looking for ways to justify the deal. Same happened with Lin and Hibbert.

I did not mention anything about getting something for him at all, if you would like to re-read what I said. I said, "He is basically the best throw in contract to make a trade work".

Right now we have a lot of young guys on small contracts. Those contracts don't come very close to maybe **For example trading for Cousins** (This is strictly an example, It does not matter if you like him or not). The players team would want from us are mostly on small contracts. Yi contract which is worth 8mil in trade could help with a possible trade this year.

And the bright side, would be the other team can drop him for nothing, they won't be on the hook for the 8mil either. Yi is a perfect example of a filler piece in a possible trade for the future. Worse case is we drop him ourselves. This same thing goes for Calderon, only the team would have to eat his money the rest of this year.

At the end of the day the Lakers filled their current 15th rooster spot, on a guy who could help facilitate big trade this year. His contract is perfect, to make numbers works. I never said we were going to get a pick or something for him. I don't think anyone thought that of him.

Would you rather fill the 15th spot with a player on a team friendly deal that could help make a trade work.

or

Would you want to waste the 15th rooster spot on a guy who can't make it out of D League and will never say any mins anyways?

Tempy
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Ray wrote:
I did not mention anything about getting something for him at all, if you would like to re-read what I said. I said, "He is basically the best throw in contract to make a trade work".

Right now we have a lot of young guys on small contracts. Those contracts don't come very close to maybe **For example trading for Cousins** (This is strictly an example, It does not matter if you like him or not). The players team would want from us are mostly on small contracts. Yi contract which is worth 8mil in trade could help with a possible trade this year.

And the bright side, would be the other team can drop him for nothing, they won't be on the hook for the 8mil either. Yi is a perfect example of a filler piece in a possible trade for the future. Worse case is we drop him ourselves. This same thing goes for Calderon, only the team would have to eat his money the rest of this year.

At the end of the day the Lakers filled their current 15th rooster spot, on a guy who could help facilitate big trade this year. His contract is perfect, to make numbers works. I never said we were going to get a pick or something for him. I don't think anyone thought that of him.

Would you rather fill the 15th spot with a player on a team friendly deal that could help make a trade work.

or

Would you want to waste the 15th rooster spot on a guy who can't make it out of D League and will never say any mins anyways?

Why else would you trade him? The object of a trade is to come out of it with some kind of benefit. A team is not going to trade an expiring contract for an expiring contract.

In your scenario, Cousins. Sure he can be used to get the salaries to match but the Kings are not going to take Randle and Yi for Cousins. So again, unless the Lakers are taking someone back, likely on a bad contract, Yi is not going to be involved in a trade. Just how Jordan Hill wasn't traded when he signed that bizarre $9 million deal.

History tells us one thing, the FO values cap space in the summer above everything else. When was the last time the FO made an in season trade? Now all of a sudden they have a grand plan of using Yi in one?

I'd rather leave the roster spot open so there is some flexibility come the trade deadline, or I'd have settled for a seasoned vet coming on board to help develop the young core off the court. Both are better options IMO.

Ray
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Tempy wrote:
Why else would you trade him? The object of a trade is to come out of it with some kind of benefit. A team is not going to trade an expiring contract for an expiring contract.

In your scenario, Cousins. Sure he can be used to get the salaries to match but the Kings are not going to take Randle and Yi for Cousins. So again, unless the Lakers are taking someone back, likely on a bad contract, Yi is not going to be involved in a trade. Just how Jordan Hill wasn't traded when he signed that bizarre $9 million deal.

History tells us one thing, the FO values cap space in the summer above everything else. When was the last time the FO made an in season trade? Now all of a sudden they have a grand plan of using Yi in one?

I'd rather leave the roster spot open so there is some flexibility come the trade deadline, or I'd have settled for a seasoned vet coming on board to help develop the young core off the court. Both are better options IMO.

Once again you mention trading Yi for another expiring contract. No I do not think that is what could happen. I think in the FO mind they have a piece that ***could*** turn into a nice bench piece, considering he is currently their 15th player on the rooster. But also they have a door open if a team wants to trade a top player for example Cousins.

Which your correct we will not get cousins for Randle and Yi, but say they want 2 of our young guys and to dump one play on us. Then Yi would be perfect.

My point is there is a number of ways a trade including Yi would help us snag a big time FA.

Yes you are correct when's the last big kid season trade we made? That doesn't mean we stop trying and keep our options open. When's the last top FA to join us in the summer? So I guess we should stop trying?

Personally another seasoned vet taking a min to join us, probably ain't going to make a difference to any of or rookies. Also we will probably have 1 spot open after Nick Young is gone.

i don't expect anything from Yi, heck I don't expect anything from the bottom 5 players on our rooster. So I like strictly because of his contract and our FO keeping that door open with how they set his contract up.

Tempy
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Ray wrote:
Once again you mention trading Yi for another expiring contract. No I do not think that is what could happen. I think in the FO mind they have a piece that ***could*** turn into a nice bench piece, considering he is currently their 15th player on the rooster. But also they have a door open if a team wants to trade a top player for example Cousins.

Which your correct we will not get cousins for Randle and Yi, but say they want 2 of our young guys and to dump one play on us. Then Yi would be perfect.

My point is there is a number of ways a trade including Yi would help us snag a big time FA.

Yes you are correct when's the last big kid season trade we made? That doesn't mean we stop trying and keep our options open. When's the last top FA to join us in the summer? So I guess we should stop trying?

Personally another seasoned vet taking a min to join us, probably ain't going to make a difference to any of or rookies. Also we will probably have 1 spot open after Nick Young is gone.

i don't expect anything from Yi, heck I don't expect anything from the bottom 5 players on our rooster. So I like strictly because of his contract and our FO keeping that door open with how they set his contract up.

"Could". A meteorite could wipe out the earth too! Which is approximately the same odds of the Lakers flipping Yi and assets and getting an all star back in return.

To get Cousins or any top player on a reasonable contract, Butler for example, the Lakers are going to have trade 2 of the youngsters and Williams before Yi is even mentioned in a trade. Yi has no value, how many NBA teams have tried to sign him the last 5 years?

Let's say I'm wrong and the Lakers flip some of the young core and Yi for an all star. What good does it do? The Lakers are still an 7th/8th seed at best with not much if any cap space.

The FO got creative regarding his contract, I just don't think it's going to have any value.

OCLakerfan8
votes: 20
Laker GM
Posts: 2896

Tempy wrote:
"Could". A meteorite could wipe out the earth too! Which is approximately the same odds of the Lakers flipping Yi and assets and getting an all star back in return.

To get Cousins or any top player on a reasonable contract, Butler for example, the Lakers are going to have trade 2 of the youngsters and Williams before Yi is even mentioned in a trade. Yi has no value, how many NBA teams have tried to sign him the last 5 years?

Let's say I'm wrong and the Lakers flip some of the young core and Yi for an all star. What good does it do? The Lakers are still an 7th/8th seed at best with not much if any cap space.

The FO got creative regarding his contract, I just don't think it's going to have any value.

And if it doesn't then it's fine. Seriously, I think you're reading too much into this signing. The 14/15th player of a basketball team in 99% inconsequential in terms of team success. Would Elton Brand or MWP be better options in terms of mentorship? Sure. Probably. But is it going to make that much of a difference in terms of the kid's success? Who knows? But I feel like the difference will not be big enough to get worked up over saying they should have done XYZ.

As far as the message it's sending I don't know what message that could be. I doubt any free agent would be like "Man I ain't going to the lakers. They signed that Chinese dude as their 3rd string PF/C!"


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