Why not Yi?

With a very promising offseason coming to an end there is still one question that remains: we adressed wing depth, got a little more size at the two, resolved our logjam at the point guard position (well, kind of) have created a team with even more depth and less redundant talent. Yet I feel the team didn't properly address the problem of not having a solid back up center, who's ideally 7 feet or more.

The shooting guard situation got a lot less makeshift than it was last season, but the back-up center situation still looks very makeshift. Granted, it's only back-ups and there are enough teams that don't even have a true center in their starting five, but still, Lamar Odom and Ronny Turiaf are a little small for the center position. And Ryan Hollins is... well... Ryan Hollins.

When talking about back-up center you basically have the guy who's lucky to even be in the NBA and the guy who's good on some days, or maybe even consistently, but who just doesn't deserve the kind of money he's getting. And they get promoted to starting five status very quickly. Just look at what Omer Asik and Greg Stiemsma got. And Kwame Brown still gets hired.

Speaking of Kwame Brown, speaking of draft busts who dropped so hard nobody even notices once they don't totally screw up anymore. In that category you quickly get to the number 6 pick of 2007, a man who never lived up to his promise, Yi Jianlian.

While I admit, that he is not a good player and had a disappointing career, it still amazes me, how the expecations for draft busts never lower. No one is like "okay, Kwame Brown never became the type of player you'd expect a number 1 pick to become, but as a back-up center he really isn't all that bad".

That's why I can't understand why there's hardly anyone taking a look at Yi Jianlian. Of the remaining free agent power forwards/ centers he's probably the best. Now I understand that the value of an NBA-player isn't only based on how talented he is, but also, if he fits a certain need... that's why I can understand that more people go after Kenyon Martin, than after Yi... but the Wolves signing Louis Amundson instead of Yi? The Knicks signing 38 year old Rasheed Wallace, who hasn't played in two years and is probably overweight and in bad condition, when Yi Jianlian is still available?

Now I wouldn't be writing this... but you've seen him in the Olympics, right? How does that player not get a contract. He may not have played much in Dallas, but one can see, that he learned very much from Dirk and in the Olympics he did everything for his team.

How does that player not get a contract? And why not from the Clippers?

I'm never good when it comes to the whole cap thing and the Clippers probably can' t afford him... but his asking price is two million!!! He's easily worth more than that and he's easily twice the player Ryan Hollins is!

It's probably too late, but I wonder, why the Clippers didn't even try!

What do you think?

Have a nice day!

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