Last But Not Least – Yi Jianlian

31 12 2011

An NBA team is allowed to have 15 men on their roster, and the Mavs just used up their last slot on a free agent that at one point had the potential to be the next Yao Ming.

The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to sign 7-foot center Yi Jianlian to a one-year deal. During his four years in the NBA, he has averaged 8.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg. His best season came with the New Jersey Nets in 2009-2010 when he averaged 12 ppg and 7.1 rpg. At the beginning of this season, the Washington Wizards had the option to extend him an offer but decided not to.

The 24-year-old big man has played a lot of basketball in China, similar to Yao Ming when he played professional basketball.

His one good year with the Nets does provide promise for this big man, but I am skeptical if his production will be anything close to that. The way he played last year worries me because of his huge drop, going from 12 ppg to 5.6 and 7.1 rpg to 4 rpg. This drop so early in his career doesn’t bode well for the rest of his career.

Yi doesn’t play like a conventional center, but that won’t matter since he is coming to a team that has lived off an unconventional power forward the past 11 years. What will he need to bring to the reigning champs? Energy. The Mavericks have struggled to have any sort of pep in their step, and Yi will be expected to bring this to the court night in and night out.

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One response

1 01 2012
David Ernst

What the Mavericks need is a center who can put some “pep in [their] step”. Brendan Haywood just doesn’t cut it. He doesn’t make the crowd go wild or make everyone else motivated like Tyson Chandler did. So far, Shawn Bradley was a better pump up than Brendan Haywood. If Yi can make the Mavs “bigger”, he will be a great use to their team.

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