Source: Agence France Presse
After acquiring Wang Zhi-Zhi - the first ever Chinese Basketball Player to play in the NBA, in the 2002, the Dallas Mavericks are once again seeking the help of a Chinese Ball Player. This time they are looking to get the 7 footer go-to-guy of China's Men Basketball Team, Yi Jian Liang. ESPN mentioned that Dallas might sign the versatile forward to a 1 year contract deal.
Yi is a 4 year NBA veteran. He has played for 3 different NBA Teams namely the Washington Wizards, the New Jersey Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks.
For me, I believe that he is an efficient player because he only averaged 24 minutes of playing time in those 3 teams above, yet he was able to notch good statistical numbers and high scoring percentages. He averaged 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in majority of his playing stint in the NBA.
Aside from his invaluable NBA experience, he also showed tremendous upside and potential to lead a team in the recently concluded FIBA Asia Championship 2011 wherein he propelled the Chinese Men's National Team to a gold medal finish against Jordan National Team. He had a double-double performance in the championship game as he scored 25 points, 6 blocks and 16 rebounds.
All throughout the FIBA Asia he showed a consistent excellent performance against the Top Asian Basketball Squads such as Iran, Jordan, South Korea and Philippines. As a result, he was named as the League's MVP, besting the mammoth Hamed Hadaddi of Iran.
As what I can foresee, Yi will serve as a back-up for the aging Dirk Nowitzki for the rest of the 2011-2012 NBA Season. I believe that Mark Cuban made a great decision in acquiring Yi because he is a perfect back-up for Dirk as he can also shoot outside shots and drive strong to the hoop.
And also, if Yi will be able to translate his dominating performance in the FIBA Asia 2011, wherein he grabbed plenty of rebounds, blocked several shots while scoring in bunches, he can be an instant inside threat for Dallas. A mini Tyson Chandler if ever. I just hope that he'll have a smooth start for the Mavs.