Monday, May 21, 2007

So, just who is Yi Jianlian?

You're part of the coaching staff of an NBA team, it's June 28 and you're on the clock, looking to make the third overall pick in the NBA Draft. Wondering, should we take one of the amazingly smooth forwards out of UNC, Florida, or Georgetown or try to steal a center? You quickly remember that multi-dimensional centers are hard to come by these days in this guard dominated league. You look down the list and see the name Yi Jianlian and decide to take a chance with it.

From my perspective, good choice! You may have never heard of Yi Jianlian before, but now you have. We may have the next Yao Ming on our hands.

While much work is ahead for Yi, he especially needs to gain upper-body strength and build on-court intensity, but he has gained the NBA's interest with his height and athleticism and is expected to be picked in the high rounds of June's draft.

Yi is easily China's best prospect for the NBA. His American style of playing sets him apart from other Chinese players.

Yi is a raw talent; he already has a great basketball build with long arms, all in a 7-1 frame. His greatest attribute is his incredible coordination and athleticism for a seven footer. He is a natural athlete. Unlike many 7 footers, Yi is very smooth and fluid and does not move awkwardly.

What sets Yi apart from other raw athletic big men is his soft touch. Like Chinese NBA players Wang Zhi Zhi and Yao Ming, Yi has a very good shooting touch. He has range out to 20 feet, and can hit the mid range jumper with much consistency.
Yi is a great talent and would be a solid number 3 pick. Milwaukee, Charlotte, Seattle, hell even Phoenix could use this guy. Just imagine the Suns with this guy for next year.

I believe Jianlian will make an immediate impact next season and could help fill a void for many teams. I think he is the real deal and years down the road we may have another Yao Ming.


grittysquirrels said...

Wow, for 7'1" this guy moves great. I wouldn't mind seeing him and Bogut as a tandem in Milwaukee next year with Villanueva on top of that too. They'd be BIG. Maybe then they wouldn't finish in like dead last....that could be fun.

Fav dunks in the Vid: 6 and 9 probably

Anonymous said...

"expected to be picked in the high rounds." Well seeing as there's only 2 I would hope so

ming01 said...

high rounds=high pick, i dont need to distinguish and articuate everything. you're a smart person you can figure that out... you're not a 5 year old. want me to wipe your ass for you as well?

twins15 said...

I've heard nothing but good things about him... should definitely be interesting to see him play in the NBA.

mookie said...

That's fine and all, but how many times has an asian player (other than Yao Ming) succeeded? i love Asians, my mom is Asian, so let's get that out of the way. but the chances are, despite his great moves, he'll flame out in the NBA. Remember, there's a difference between the Chinese league and the NBA.

mookie said...

Oh and by the way, I'll link this blog to my blog gritty squirrels.

ming01 said...

It's not like he's just played in the Chinese league

stephen a said...

I'll admit I'm not much of an NBA guy, but it seems to me that we hear about a new foreign player every year and he never pans out. So we'll see

grittysquirrels said...

Suprisingly good point fetchy....**a la Darko***

I guess in that case then he's worth picking just probably not 3rd overall. I mean he looks really good and has a great build/style for an NBA game but he's just too much of a risk to pick that high. His upside makes him worthy of a serious look and a pick....just not too high.

ming01 said...

he's expected to be picked high anyways so 3rd is very reasonable

Anonymous said...

mookie.. how many other times has a chinese player been a first round pick? Yao ming? Hes a superstar now. Anyone else? Obviously all the chinese players (not even that many) who were picked later or cam undrafted didn't succeed. But Yi is a solid #3 pick, and maybe would even be a #1 if it wasn't for Oden/Durant. So why the heck would you expect that hes more likely to fail than succeed?

Also, its funny how ppl compare the CBA to the NBA. Obviously its not the same, cause you cant compare it. NCAA is not the NBA too, so are you going to say all the college top picks wont succeed? Not saying that CBA is any better than the best NCAA teams, but you cant say that just because CBA is not as good as the NBA, Yi wont do well. Come on, your smarter than that.

Anonymous said...

I love this kid and I saw him play in person when I was in China last year. CBA is not the same as NBA, hell I don't even think CBA can compare to NCAA, but you have to remember Yi is on the national team and play against some of the best in the world. He has also attended American basketball camps. Comparing him to Yao is like apples to oranges, both are great but has different flavors. First of all Yi is a player of a different style. Yao is old school center (low post, back to the basket, hooks and fades), whereas Yi is more of a face to the basket, dunk in your face, above the rim sort of a guy.

With all that being said, there is always a chance he will be a bust (I hope not). Can he physically play the up-tempo pace all season long? can he play defense against NBA PFs (stoudamire, dirk). Only time will tell.

You have to admit there is definitely more upside to Yi than downside and that should make him a great pick for any team. (My team is the sixers and I don't think he will fall to #12).

Also don't forget if a major city picks Yi, they will gain a whole demographic for their products as he is the face of cantonese bball and of China.