L.A. Lakers in talks with Yi Jianlian about a return to the NBA

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Football News

China is a basketball-mad nation and it comes as a bit of a surprise that they don't have a player currently in the NBA. However, that could all be about to change as Yi Jianlian edges closer to a return. 

The 28-year-old last played for the Dallas Mavericks, having been drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 2007, but has been back in his homeland, playing for the Guangdong Southern Tigers since 2012. 

His next stop could take him to California, with ESPN's Marc Stein reporting he is closing in on a deal with the L.A. Lakers. 

Yi Jianlian, who is coming off the back of a highly disappointing Olympic campaign where China lost all five of their group games, would be vying for a position in the team with Julius Randle and Larry Nance Jr. 

In truth, if a deal is completed for the power forward, he is only likely to be a roster-filler as Randle is one of the emerging talents in the City of Angels and Nance Jr also has a lot of upside at just 23 years of age. 

The Chinese star has struggled in his previous NBA spells, averaging just 7.9 points and 4.9 rebounds per game - while shooting a .404 field goal percentage - in 272 regular season appearances. 

However, with more maturity and the experience of a fourth Olympic Games under his belt, he may capitalise on what is likely to be a final shot at making a name for himself in the NBA. 

Given the huge financial reward for the Lakers, it's a win, win. 

Western Conference
LA Lakers
Pacific Division

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