Chinese Basketball Star Yi Jianlian Suddenly Asks Lakers to Drop Him From $1.4 Million Contract

Chinese basketball star Yi Jianlian’s return to the NBA via the Los Angeles Lakers has come to an abrupt halt even before the regular season even started.  

Yi had reportedly asked the Lakers management to free him from the $1.4 million-minimum contract he signed back in August. According to NBA.com, the Lakers have since obliged, cutting short his NBA comeback after just playing a few pre-season games.

“Yi was productive in practices and games with us, and was a consummate professional both on and off the court,” General Manager Mitch Kupchak was quoted as saying.

“However, he felt that the minutes and opportunities he’d be afforded here were not in line with his goals and ambitions, and that he’d be better off in a different situation. We appreciate his efforts and wish him great success as he goes forward with his career.”

The provisions of the signed deal included additional incentives that may be worth up to $8 million upon reaching certain target benchmarks, reported CBS Sports. Yi would have earned an extra $2,286,959 just by playing up to his 20th, 40th and his 59th game. Since he won’t be able to do that, Yi is set to receive only $250,000 from the contract.

Yi Jianlian caught the Lakers’ attention for his amazing performance in the Rio Olympics. While winless in the Olympic games, Yi led his team in stats with 20 points and almost 7 rebounds per game.

The Lakers also expressed interest with his improved overall skills and physique since his last NBA appearance.

However, Yi’s preseason numbers with the team left a lot to be desired, averaging 3 points and 2.5 rebounds in 10.7 minutes per game over six contests. Some observers believe that Yi is just trying to save face by seeking to be let go before inevitably getting axed.

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com