The Lakers made the long discussed Yi Jianlian signing official today. From their press release:
“We’re excited to have a player of his worldwide accomplishments,” said Kupchak. “We look forward to bringing him to training camp and hopefully having him make an impact on our team.”
Yi, who hails from the Guangdong Province in China, recently concluded competing for his country at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, averaging 20.4 points (3rd overall in group play competition), 6.6 rebounds (6th), 1.4 steals (t-6th), and 1.0 blocks (t-6th) per game over his five contests while shooting 46.7% from three-point range.
We have discussed this pending signing plenty, but there was still the open question about how much Yi would earn this upcoming season. There had been reports that his contract would be for $8 million, but we now have more clarity on how, exactly, that number could be achieved. From Broderick Turner of the LA Times:
The contract for Yi is one year at the veteran’s minimum of $1.13 million that could reach as high as $8 million this season if he reaches several wide-ranging incentive bonuses in the deal.
Without getting into all the minutiae of contract language or the nuances of the collective bargaining agreement, it will be interesting to know exactly what types of bonuses exist in the deal. Bonuses pretty much fall into two categories: likely or unlikely. That said, bonuses which are considered “unlikely” cannot makeup too high a percentage of overall contract value in order for the deal to be legal by league standards.
So, again, I am interested in knowing what the bonuses are and how that translates to what Yi will actually make this next season. My guess is that by the end of the year he actually will not make the full $8 million.
That said, none of that really matters much to me. As we have discussed previously, Yi fills a role which is currently lacking on the team (stretch big man), but plays a position (PF/C) which already has a lot of players who the Lakers have invested in via draft picks or high salary. How Luke Walton balances minutes while maintaining buy-in is storyline I will be watching intently throughout the season.
Yi jianlian is the most interesting signing of the offseason for me, if he plays good it will be fun and the media will hype it big time
His first bonus would be if he makes the team.
There were stories that one of the incentives was based on games played (nothing confirmed)
This would make sense as he has missed NBA games in the past due to injuries and to being on the outside of the coaches short list.
That said, I wonder if the likely incentives are the reason why Ingram hasn’t signed. The likely incentives would have to fit under the cap. (unless he is signed using the room exception)
@matt24 He did play well against the US Olympic team, so he probably would play well in the d league (which isn’t an option given his experience in the NBA). His NBA stats aren’t too bad. It has been said (unconfirmed) that Yao knocked his fellow Chinese players (said to be Yi) as not having worked hard enough. Yao, being Yao, this was indirect and not by name…which is why the speculation/
That would be something that has changed, along with health….
Michael NP says
Having lived in China, I’ve had plenty of exposure to him. He’s a temperamental, lazy, spoiled brat. But then again, maybe he grew up since then.
He’s talented. His game is tailor-made for the NBA’s version of the West coast offense. It’s his attitude that mostly concerns me.
Ryan Kelly actually looked amazing in the D-League as everyone else is a half step slower. I’m pretty sure he would look amazing in China as well. I like Kelly’s game he just lacks the speed to match up in the NBA.
Clay Bertrand says
Lets see how these contract terms shake out. Yi was making like $3 million in China. I’m sure he isn’t taking a massive pay cut. Incentives are very limited under the CBA as Darius touches on. I’m curious to see what Eric Pincus comes up with to explain this deal.
Honestly, if he gets the full $8 million, its a wise investment BUSINESS wise. Basketball wise, meh. I’d be surprised if this was a TOTAL BASKETBALL decision.
I’m not so sure a 17 Win team needs to be signing players for anything other than basketball reasons. I hope there is a silver lining here whereby he actually contributes more than jersey sales.
Not that it means much.
Yi jianlian had a 76 player rating on nba 2k9