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Yi Jianlian Is Parlaying His Olympics Performance Into A Deal With The LOLakers

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(Source) – The Los Angeles Lakers are finalizing a deal to bring China star Yi Jianlian back to the NBA, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that the Lakers and Yi have agreed to terms and are in the latter stages of cementing a one-year deal in the $8 million range for the veteran forward to return to the NBA for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

The Lakers, sources said, tried in the summer of 2015 to sign Yi and this year renewed those efforts in the wake of the former lottery pick’s strong play in Rio on his fourth trip to the Olympics as a cornerstone player for China.

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It’s been a hard fall from grace for the Los Angeles Lakers since their last title in 2010* (Perk doesn’t get hurt Celts win that. Fact not opinion) and I can’t lie and say I haven’t enjoyed it. Now that the Kobe Bryant Era is officially over, it only makes sense that the Lakers go into a full rebuild. What does that rebuild look like? How about spending $144M on Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov and Yi Jianlian while hoping first year coach Luke Walton can actually win games without a team filled with basketball aliens. This certainly isn’t your father’s Lakers that’s for sure, and I absolutely love it.

Imagine sitting in that boardroom, brainstorming of ways to actually win more than 17 games in a season, coming off the worst year in franchise history, and naturally you come to the conclusion that your missing piece is a dude who hasn’t played in the NBA in 4 years because he is TERRIBLE. Ever since Jim Buss took over this franchise has been a complete disaster, and no move tells me he has no idea what he’s doing more than this. Any time you can bring in a guy who will most likely end up stealing valuable minutes from your young players who are actually part of your future, you have to do it. But, aside from hating the Lakers with every fiber of my being, there is another reason to love this move. Around these parts we’re all about snaking it till you make it, and you know what, I won’t hate on Yi for doing just that.

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What probably convinced the Lakers to do this, was his performance against Serbia when China only lost by 34. Yi had 20 points in that game on 7-14 shooting. Not to mention he did score 18 points when China lost to the US by 49. Sure, maybe he couldn’t do absolutely anything while he was in the NBA when he was much younger and had a much higher ceiling, but that probably doesn’t matter. What matters is he played OK in complete and utter blowouts during an event that happens once every four years.

With the turmoil between Swaggy P and D’Angelo Russell, no Kobe, and a starting five that will probably include three guys who are 21 and under, the Lakers are probably going to be just as awful again this year, and when that happens, we all win.

Between dominating a chair in a workout and this video, it’s shocking Yi didn’t take over the NBA if we’re being honest…