Sunday, January 01, 2012

Mavericks to Sign Yi, but why?

The Mavericks have agreed to terms on a one year deal with Yi Jianlian. Yi will rehab from a knee injury by playing with the Mavs D-League affilate, the Texas Legends. Why did the Mavs acquire the Chinese PF?

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After the CP3 trade fell through, the Mavericks gave the Lakers a trade exception for Lamar Odom. Odom's a 6 ft 10 (same height as Jianlian) PF who does a bit of everything on the floor. What logic are the Mavs using in picking Yi him up?

Yi's only 24 years old, hasn't really shown signs of growth in the pros and only has a one year deal. Let's see if he can rehab, comeback and be on the bench if we need him, the Mavericks are thinking. It's a low risk move, but still one that I question.

There can't be much of a role for him on this team. Dirk is gonna play a ton of minutes, Odom will too and Yi is a perimeter shooter, not someone who can play the center spot. The Mavs lost Tyson Chandler this off-season, they needed to sign a tougher big man. Jianlian has shown signs as a perimeter big. He can definitely shot, but Dallas has guys like that already!

Surely people out there are happy with this move. Jianlian can come in, have no real pressure to perform, get healthy and continue developing his game. Seeing as it's only a one year contract, let's see what happens. Del Harris, current coach of the Legends' is delighted to coach Jianlian, "He runs like a gazelle so he's good for a flow game. I'm a big fan of his."

Good luck Yi. Get healthy, play yourself into shape in the minors and continue to improve. Who knows, Yi's only 24! What do you think about the Yi signing?