UPDATE 8/17/16 (8:43 AM PT): According to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne, the Lakers are finalizing a one year, $8 million deal with Yi:
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 Los Angeles Lakers may not be done making moves in the offseason. The storied franchise has held off the signing of rookie Brandon Ingram and forward/center Tarik Black in the event the team finds another player to add to the roster.
According to ESPN’s Marc Stein, the Lakers may have their eye on a certain international product:
The Los Angeles Lakers are in advanced discussions to try to bring China star Yi Jianlian back to the NBA, according to league sources.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 17, 2016
Jianlian is no stranger to the NBA. The Chinese seven-footer has played for four different teams in the NBA with short stints with the Milwaukee Bucks, New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, and Dallas Mavericks.
Although Jianlian was an NBA journeyman at one point in his basketball career, the 28-year-old hasn’t played in the league since the 2011-12 season. Jianlian most recent appearance on the national stage was with the Chinese National Team in Brazil for the Olympic Games.
In fact, Jianlian played at the Staples Center for China against Team USA last month. Lakers head coach Luke Walton and general manager Mitch Kupchak were in attendance for that game and apparently saw something they liked in Jianlian.
During Jianlian five seasons in the NBA, the forward averaged 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Jianlian shot 40.4 percent from the floor and 33.3 from beyond the arc.