NBA Roundtable

Yi To Washington

In Free Agency, Trade Talk on June 29, 2010 at 1:39 pm

The Bergen Record reports

The Nets have $30 million to spend in free agency now.

They sent underachieving power forward Yi Jianlian and $3 million to the Washington Wizards for journeyman small forward Quinton Ross today. The deal was done because it shed nearly $3 million in payroll, putting the Nets at $ 30 million to use in free agency.

The report added

Between now and then, the Nets could try to get rid of more salary to be in position to sign two maximum-contract players.

The rough estimate for a maximum contract begins at $16.5 million for the 2010-11, so the Nets would need to clear another $3 million in case James tells them he wants to play with Chris Bosh, who could get a max deal.

Kris Humphries, who picked up his $3.2 million option Monday, is a candidate to be moved to get the Nets to their desired figure. Another possibility is working a sign-and-trade for a free agent where the Nets could include rookie Humphries or Derrick Favors to facilitate a deal.

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Thoughts

New Jersey

Very good trade for the New Jersey Nets.

The cap space they gained is more valuable than the role Yi would have been asked to fill next season. With Favors, or a new PF coming in, Yi’s minutes would have been limited.

Furthermore, while possessing some talent, Yi is still too undisciplined to be a positive contributor. His poor shot selection makes him a hugely inefficient scorer (TS% of 48% on 14ppg) and his lack of defensive awareness makes him vulnerable defensively. Yi’s rebounding is decent, slightly below average but serviceable, and with a little work it could become a plus. Anyway, there is a lot of raw undisciplined talent there but it needs work before Yi is ready to become a player who helps his team. If Yi does make that progress, we are likely talking about a good role player rather than a star.

Washington Wizards

I am disappointed in the Wizards wasting away their cap space. I would have loved to have seen them go after Rudy Gay or Amare Stoudemire to pair with John Wall (and maybe Blatche). Then find away to get rid of Arenas at some point and have more cap space down the road to further develop the team.

Anyway, the Wizards choose their path with the Kirk Hinrich move. I would have waited and seen what Pat Riley did with Michael Beasley before accepting Yi … but if they reached out and were rebuffed, then Yi is a solid option. He is still a talented young player. Doesn’t really know how to play basketball but could yet become a solid contributor (more a 12/8 guy than a star).

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