Yi Jianlian's NBA Window Is Closing Fast, Or Has It Already?

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Yi Jianlian's NBA Window Is Closing Fast, Or Has It Already?

"The Chairman" has had anything but a sustained position within the NBA since the time he was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2007 draft as the sixth overall selection. The talented 7-footer from China had NBA scouts and executives drooling over the potential in which they saw in the allegedyoungster at the time.

Yi Jianlian's NBA career totals (7.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 0.7 blocks) are far from terrible numbers, but are still seen as dissapointing totals with regard to his skill set, size, and still possible upside.

The big man logged some minutes in the D-League last season for the Texas Legends, on an injury rehab assignment with the Dallas Mavericks.Yi made quick use of his time, posting impressive numbers, ultimately forcing the Mavericks to recall him.

Injuries have been a major issue for "The Chairman", his latest coming inChina's game with Austrailia where Yi was carried off the court due to a knee injury. It would later be diagnosed as a strained MCL, just another injury to add to a lengthy list that has now put fear in NBA team executives.

His brief yet successful D-League stint, coupled with his impressive Olympic performance (averaging 14.8 points and 10.2 rebounds) has to have NBA onlookers eager to roll the dice on Yi again. However, with no reported word from any NBA teams regarding a training camp invite just yet, Yi's NBA window just may have finally closed. Take the jump and find out if the D-League could be an option for Yi to get back to the NBA once more.

Thursday, September 20, another highly regarded NBA draft "bust" was granted a 1-year deal with the Boston Celtics. Darko Milicic, who hasn't had nearly as many injury issues (but certainly the hype that Yi received), was given the opportunity at providing the C's with some front court depth.

This is what Yi could ultimately supply an NBA team with, however, many believe his game isn't suited for the down- low play found in the NBA. This is where some time back in the D-League could benefit him.

If Yi found the right team in the D-League to help coach the skilled big man with the necessary tools to grind it out on the blocks, perhaps he could find a position similar to Darko's back in the NBA?

With NBA teams handing out training camp offers, and the reports stating that Yi's main goal is to play in the NBA (despite alleged alluring offers from recognized International teams), the time is either now or never for the once highly touted international player.

For Yi's sake, hopefully it won't be another injury to keep the once considered "next big thing out of China" from donning an NBA uniform once again. If Yi's ultimate goal is to play in the NBA again, and a training camp contract doesn't land in his lap soon, the D-League could be a perfect fit for an NBA return for "The Chairman".

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If only he'd play in the NBA like he played in the olympics...

European Baller
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Yi is stupid. Panathinaikos

Yi is stupid. Panathinaikos offered him a $2 million contract and he turned it down. Plus $200,000 for his living expenses in Greece. In addition to this, they secured a deal where all the Euroleague and Greek League games of the team would be broadcast on Chinese TV. Yi would get a share of the profits. Also where team merchandise like Yi jerseys could be sold in Mandarin, Cantonese online to Chinese and in stores in China and again Yi would get some of the profits. They would even have Yi get share of the profits from the online Panathinaikos store and regular store in Athens. He actually turned this offer down. So the reason he does not do as well as he should is probably due to the fcat that he is clearly a huge idiot.

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European baller, does

European baller, does Greece's deficit have you down? Or are you just still sore about missing the olympics?

3-6 Mafia
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euro-baller: aren't the


aren't the paniakos the team with all those insanely good players you talk about??

why would they want a scrub like yi?

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@European Baller

I think the fact that he turned down playing in an inferior league with a chance to dominate and make tons of money shows a desire to compete at the highest level. It's a good thing. He would rather grind it out to play with the best than dominate a league of scrubs (by NBA comparrison of course) and be paid like a boss.

Having said that, I don't know why he hasn't put it together yet with his package of skills, but maybe the rumors about him being older than listed are true and if that's the case maybe he's just a lot further behind the learning curve than we thought, and I would say that in that case he's missed his window.

Yi would be a legit fit on a team (preferably uptempo, he's athletic and can run the floor) where he could be the third big man off the bench, and play on a team that ends up having a lot of garbage time (the last 5 minutes or so of a blowout game, so either a very good or very bad team where there are a lot of blowouts). He would be good with a driving-and-kicking point guard who can dish to him at 13-18 feet out.

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Miami could always use a

Miami could always use a stretch 4? Would be a nice story too if he was a key piece to their title defense.

European Baller
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You are smoking crack if you

You are smoking crack if you think Yi could "dominate" in Euroleague. Put down the freaking crack pipe. He would at BEST average something like 10 and 5, and even that's probably overly optimistic.

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