Lakers News: Yi Jianlian Excited To Represent Franchise Known Across The World

Lakers News: Yi Jianlian Excited To Represent Franchise Known Across The World

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With training camp just under two weeks away, the Los Angeles Lakers begin to prepare the roster for the heavily awaited upcoming season. With new head coach Luke Walton running the show, the Lakers hope to evolve with the new style of play in the NBA and to make their presence felt.

While the NBA remains ever changing, the trending up-tempo offense may suit the young core of the Lakers and their style of play. Walton, alongside general manager Mitch Kupchak, has done an excellent job appropriating their free agent signings to the evolving game.

One instance of the changed philosophy was when the Lakers officially announced the signing of forward Yi Jianlian on Aug. 16. While the sixth overall pick of the 2007 draft was considered a bust by many, he still has time to prove his worth in the NBA.

Del Harris, who coaches the Chinese national men’s team, praised the China native, stating that Jianlian was the right fit for the offense Walton is bringing over. Kobe Bryant also echoed similar thoughts, stating that Jianlian has an opportunity to prove his worth.

The Lakers announced media availability for Jianlian on Friday, so that the 28-year-old can demonstrate his talents. While the NBA continues to evolve, so do the positions and what they garner. Jianlian provided some clarification regarding his role in a conversation with his new coach, courtesy of Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:

Jianlian signed for the veteran minimum, with bonuses and incentives that can push his contract up a considerable amount.

While Jianlian is apart of the Chinese basketball influence in the NBA, he also understands the global impact the Lakers have. Known worldwide as a coveted franchise, the Lakers represent the winning philosophy and pedigree that other franchises simply don’t have.

The fifth-year veteran stated how anxious he is to begin, but also to play for a franchise respected all over the world, via Winters.

Jianlian has ventured between the NBA and the CBA, with his style representing a big-man that can stretch the floor. The China native had an excellent showing during the 2016 Olympics, averaging 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for China.

While he is joining a crowded frontcourt alongside the likes of Tarik Black, Timofey Mozgov, Ivica Zubac, Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle, his assets and ability to shoot present an alternative offensive approach Walton is interested in.

During his five seasons with four different teams, Jianlian averaged 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds in 22.2 minutes per game.