The Lakers made a shocking move to sign Yi Jianlian late in free agency. The former first round pick has not played in the NBA since 2012 and is widely viewed as a bust.
Yi’s uniquely-created contract makes him a mitigated risk in the grand scheme of things. But while many see him as an end-of-the-rotation big for the woeful Lakers, Jianlian could provide some things on the court as well.
In the latest Laker Film Room video, Pete Zayas details Yi Jianlian could fit within the framework of the Lakers’ offense. Yi’s dominance in the CBA makes him a bit of a question mark as he attempts to make the transition from China to the NBA.
Yi will almost certainly be able to provide some level of three-point shooting as a stretch-five. Defensively, he has shown an ability to guard out to the perimeter and stick with faster players, including members of Team USA.
However, Jianlian struggles with the physicality of the game and he is not a formidable rim protector. In order to become a successful player in the NBA, he must hope that the former two skills translate to the more competitive league.