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9 - Yi Jianlian

  • Birthday: 10/27/87
  • NBA Position: Power Forward
  • Class: International
  • Ht: 7-0
  • Wt: 242
  • Team: BC Kyiv
  • Hometown: Shenzhen, China
  • High School: Shen Zhen City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Overall

94

NBA Comparison: Pau Gasol

Matthew Maurer - 12/4/2006

Strengths: Good ball handler who has no problem taking opposing defenders off the dribble Great finisher around the basket as he is capable of making some impressive dunks on the break Fundamentally sound player with a decent basketball IQ and court awareness Rarely does Jianlian force the issue, instead he lets the game come to him Unlike many players his size, he is a great free throw shooter Runs the floor especially well considering his size His perimeter shooting is very impressive as he can stretch the defense out to 18-20 feet comfortably While he doesnt own many back to the basket moves, Jianlian possesses a consistent turnaround jumper in the post Does a great job of using his long body and athleticism to make an impact on the boards Passes out of double teams well due to his court vision and awareness Excels in an open court offense that promotes fast breaks thanks to his mobility and leaping ability Rarely gets intimidated when physical play occurs Although he has been on the NBA draft radar for quite some time, and may be a few years older than his listed age, he appears to still have considerable upside Defensively he is a solid help defender due to his lateral quickness and wingspan Possesses quick hands that can disrupt passing lanes

Weaknesses: There is some concern as to what position he will play in the NBA: He lacks the upper body strength and the back to the basket moves at power forward and is a bit long and rangy for the three Needs to improve his three point shooting to play minutes to be effective at SF Despite his vast improvement, Jianlian needs to continue to develop his upper body strength At this point of his career, hes more comfortable facing the basket than with his back to the basket Although he doesnt shy away from physical contact he can get disrupted with rough post play Struggles to maintain his position in the low post as opposing defenders tend to push him out Defensively he will not be the huge shot blocking presence that he is in the China, due to his timing and the speed of the NBA game Has a habit of putting the ball on the floor to achieve rhythm instead of keeping the ball high away from opposing guards Confidence can wavier in games when hes struggling to score Although listed as being born in 1987 many within China place him between 1984-1985 Doesnt always play defensive with great intensity, he wont be able to get away with it in the NBA

Aran Smith - 7/7/2006

Strengths: The next big prospect from China after Yao Ming A 7 footer with the agility and coordination of a much smaller player, plus explosiveness rarely found in Asian players Has an American style of game, very quick and athletic Loves the transition game and gets a lot of highlight dunks In the CBA, Yi has made a solid transition from prospect to star player becoming the MVP of his CBA champion Guangdong Tigers team Smart player, makes good decisions showing improvement on the offensive end of the floor ... Can face the basket from 12-15 feet and get by bigger players off the dribble as well as knock down shots out to 18 feet with consistency ... Has good shooting mechanics and overall fundamentals Seems to have modeled his fadeaway jumpshot after Dirk Nowitzki, and though it's not as accurate, it is extremely tough to defend Has good touch around the basket and shows good creativity on the drive Plays with solid aggressiveness, competitive player with a high level of energy and intensity ... Grabs rebounds well using his leaping ability Solid defensively as a shot blocker, with good timing and possesses good lateral quickness Has a fiery side(unlike Yao), if he gets elbowed he will get payback. But by no means is he a hothead or looking for trouble, he's just a competitior

Weaknesses: He's a tweener, but a "good tweener" Doesn't fit a position perfectly as he's more of a finesse player and too big to play the 3 position, but his combination of size and versatility makes him a very intriguing At times can be too laid back on the floor, so raising his intensity level is important Has good shooting mechanics but has a slow release Could become a good shooter but probably never a great shooter His hands are a little weak, making it easier for opponents to poke the ball away (Yao Ming has the same problem) Needs to continue to gain upper body and arm strength, without losing any quickness If he adds additional strength, he will be able to fight for rebounds better He has no problems now, but it will be an adjustment to the speed and strength of the NBA Also like Yao the adjustment to a much longer season will take time The general consensus in China is that he is actually born in 1984 or 1985, meaning he wouldn't enter the NBA until he's actually 25 years of age if he stays in China until his 1987 draft year His game has matured to where he needs better competition to push him. He is a superior athlete in China, and lacks a great competition level, so his game is deteriorating to an extent staying in China in such crucial development years

Notes: Averaged: 20.5 PPG, 57.41 FG %, 75.08 FT%, 9.6 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 1.2 APG, 2.0 SPG in the 2005-06 season. Flirted with the idea of declaring for the NBA draft, but chose to stay with his Guangdong Tigers team and Chinese Olympic team. Has proven himself against American players in junior competitions (playing well at the ABCD camp in New Jersey) Did not perform well at the 2005 Hoops Summit game

YouTube Clip - 1/1/2001

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