Report: Lakers in talks to sign China’s Yi Jianlian

Aug. 17 UPDATE: Per Marc Stein, the Lakers and Jianlian are finalizing a deal in the range of $8 million for one year.

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Update: The Lakers have signed Jianlian to a deal worth the veteran’s minimum, according to the People’s Daily, China. Original story follows.

No discussions have been made to bring his chair with him to the team, however.

As we grow nearer to the NBA preseason, the Lakers grow nearer to filling out their roster. Brandon Ingram remains unsigned and the team is still looking to move Nick Young, but won’t seem to face any awkwardness with D’Angelo Russell if Young remains on the team. As we stand right now, Los Angeles has an open roster spot– but that could change soon, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.

The Lakers might be taking a chance on the former number six overall pick, it seems (as long as they don’t pull out the chair from under him in negotiations). Jianlian is not unfamiliar to the Lakers’ front office, either, as they were in attendance to Yi’s performance in Los Angeles.

Update: Stein additionally reported Jianlian’s play at the Rio Olympics influenced the front office’s interest.

All things considered, Yi’s NBA career was far short of a success. However, in China, Yi has lived up to the once unmatched hype. Justin Russo, a friend of the site, brought up Yi’s stats from his last season in China.

The Lakers tried to convince Yi to come to the team last offseason, as well. There could be multiple factors in why Yi could possibly have a change of heart, but a good showing at this year’s Olympic Games could be a driving force behind Yi’s comeback effort.

It is unclear why the Lakers would consider signing Yi, given their current roster make-up and his unsatisfactory performance in his prior stint in the league. Upon hearing this news, most of Lakers and basketball Twitter fell out of their respective chairs, either laughing, crying, or both.

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