I found another 7 footer with great quickness and mobility for his size... he possesses a massive wingspan, runs the floor like a gazelle and has an explosive vertical leap, often getting his head near rim level on his fantastic dunks.
This forward is a good athlete with a good jump shot that can also hit from long range (37 percent from downtown). Also shoots 80.5 percent from the free throw line for his career. This 7 footer is young (24), still developing his NBA game and improving each of the three years he has been in the NBA to the point where he averaged 12 points and 7 rebounds despite losing a chunk of time to injury.
- Points (8.6, 8.6, 12.0)
- Rebounds (5.2, 5.3, 7.2)
- Steals (0.5,0.5, 0.7)
- Blocks (0.8, 0.6, 1.0)
He doesn't play great defense yet and is still working on refining his low-post game, but in KG, Amare and Odom, I have excellent professors of the game to guide the young pup to even greater heights as he spells KG from the PF position and develops into his heir apparent.
100 million people tuned in to watch his first NBA game....so will you when the Portland squad goes deep, deep, deep into the playoffs as they contend for a title.
With the 16th pick of the eighth round, Portland is proud to select:8.16 Yi Jianlian SF/PF
Yi has already proved to being a capable leader at a young age, by being selected to the Chinese League All-Star Game in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 and winning the Chinese League with the Guandong Southern Tigers in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
The sheer physical traits that Yi offers are just as appealing as any NBA power forward has to offer. Standing 7’0 or more and nearly 250 lbs., he owns ideal size for a center prospect, let alone a power forward. Yi has a frame that could surely add more weight to it as well, as his massive lower body is combined with a relatively underdeveloped upper body.
Consistently throughout the past 3 years, Yi has proven to be a reliable scorer, no matter who the competition may be against.
Jianlian scores the large majority of his points through drop-offs, offensive rebounds, spot-up jump shots, and turn-around jumpers out of the post. His great hands and explosive leaping ability have enabled him to be a very good finisher inside, dunking the ball at every available opportunity. Yi converts basically everything he touches inside of five feet from the rim, even initiating the contact at times and making his way to the foul line.
On the defensive end, Yi has all of the tools to eventually become an outstanding defender, but has yet to fully realize them. He has the length, athleticism, lateral quickness, and frame that many of the top defensive power forwards offer. Despite all of these tools, Yi remains an average defender at best in the low post, a marginal shot blocker (1 per game), and a relatively poor rebounder (7 per game). This should continue to improve as he works with three All-Star PFs already on the roster.
Lastly, from a marketing standpoint, Yi is one of the most popular players on the planet. Portland provides easy access to Chinese nationals that would like to see Yi play live. Also services the well developed Chinese-American population on the West Coast, many of whom are avid NBA fans. In case anyone is curious, there are over 36,000 Asian Americans living in Portland today (6.4 percent). Portland isa home to the headquartera of Nike, a worldwide sneaker and sports apparel juggernaut and outbid adidas to land Yi as a key marketing athlete. CocaCola also hired Yi to market their delicious soft drinks to 1 billion people in China.
As a Nets fan, I was sad to see him go, but I welcome Yi to Portland and be an key part of greatness.