Jianlian to Play for Dallas Mavericks
As long as the rights terms will be reached, the Dallas mavericks will be signing a one year contract with free agent forward Yi Jianlian. The 2.13 meter tall power forward, played in the NBA for the past four seasons, and due to his knee injury he was still available in the free agency.
Yi suffered a knee injury during his stint playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Yi help the Chinese national team gain a spot in the 2012 London Olympics this summer. During his time with the Guandong, Yi averaged 16.7 points, 10.3 rebounds in three games.
Before Yi can join Dallas, he will be sent first to join Mavericks D-League affiliate Texas Legends on a rehabilitation stint with the Golden State Warriors or the San Antonio Spurs. When Yi plays in the D League, he will be reunited with coach Del Harris. Harris coached China to an eighth placed finish in the 2004 Olympics.
Long before the Milwaukee Bucks drafted Yi, the Mavericks are well acquainted with his style of playing. And thanks to Donnie Nelson, Mavericks president for basketball operations connections to China lead to Dallas being the first NBA team to successfully sign a Chinese player. Yi spent his last season plating for the Washington Wizards with a career average of 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Since the Chinese Basketball Association rules that forbids in season out clauses for NBA players doesn’t apply to Chinese Nationals, Yi can immediately join the Mavericks once e receives his FIBA letter of clearance from Guangdong. Unlike the other NBA players who signed with China will have to wait for the Chinese season to end in March before signing with other NBA teams.