When Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak announced the signing of China star Yi Jianlian last month, a small wave of surprise crashed over Laker land. With the exception of the Olympics, most NBA fans hadn’t heard too much about Yi since he parted ways with the NBA in 2012, returning to China and his former team, the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association.
After the rumors started swirling in, fans began to pay attention to his recent Olympic play in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where he averaged 20.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals, and 1.0 blocks per game over his five contests. Quite notably, Yi also averaged 46.7 percent from the three-point line over those five games. Going back to Yi’s second season in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets, he attempted 140 threes that year, knocking down 48 of them (34.3%), not bad for a seven-footer.
It’s that potential shooting ability that could give head coach Luke Walton another weapon in his bag of tricks this season, as Yi gives the Lakers the option of having another big man on the floor without sacrificing outside shooting. As such, we’ve got some footage for you of Yi shooting around at the Lakers practice facility on Friday. Take a look above!