Just when it seemed like the Los Angeles Lakers would stay quiet and not make any moves for a little while, reports came that the team was in discussions to sign former lottery pick Yi Jianlian, who is currently playing for the Chinese National Team in the Olympics.
The fit seemed to be an odd one as the Lakers have a relatively crowded frontcourt, but Yi has impressed during the Olympics, and the Lakers have both the salary cap room and roster space to make the move.
There were questions regarding Yi’s contract as it was originally reported as a minimum contract, but then later reports claimed that the Lakers would pay Yi $8 million on a one-year deal. Those questions seemed to be answered by Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s Mike Bresnahan who claimed that it would be a minimum deal that could increase with incentives:
NBA source calls Yi Jianlian's contract "very creative." Non-guaranteed vet's min deal for $1.1 mill can increase to $8 mill w/ incentives.
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) August 17, 2016
However, that notion was disputed by Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders who claims that such a deal is not legal:
@RyanWardLA except that's not legal
— Eric Pincus (@EricPincus) August 17, 2016
Very few people know the ins and outs of the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement and salary cap as well as Eric Pincus so if he is saying that a deal of that nature is illegal than it is probably safe to assume that is right.
Nonetheless, it looks as if the Lakers will be adding Yi to the roster. The exact terms of the deal are still unknown despite multiple different reports so Lakers fans everywhere will just have to wait patiently to find out the end result. Regardless of how much he ultimately gets paid, the Lakers are simply hoping he adds something to the team that they are currently missing.