Update: Sure enough, NJ.com is reporting that Yi Jianlian will be traded to the Wizards for Quinton Ross. While the other player in this deal would normally be irrelevant, Ross is a great defensive player who fits the Avery Johnson mold of “guys who work their butt off on the defensive end.” This is both a good salary move and a good basketball move. Today is a great day in Nets history.
Now John Wall can have his soul slowly sucked out of him as he throws beautiful alley-oop passes to Yi that he can’t finish.
See ya, Yi!
Today, Al Iannazzone is reporting that the Nets may finally be close to ending their professional relationship with Yi Jianlian:
They are working on a deal with the Wizards that would send Yi and cash to Washington for a player who makes “significantly less” than what the Nets’ power forward earns. Three sources confirmed this could happen.
The player could be Quinton Ross ($1.14 million) or one of their draft picks. Yi makes $4.05 million this season. Either way, the Nets are close to getting Yi’s salary off their books.
The Nets would do this to get as far under the cap as possible so they potentially could sign two max players. Yi for Ross would save the Nets close to $3 million and put them around $30 million.
Obviously, this would be a fantastic move. The failed Yi experiment can finally be over and the Nets are able to clear up even more cap space. While they would still be a little short for two max contracts, every dollar counts in this year’s free agency and they still have the potential of moving Kris Humphries’s $3.2 million contract (he picked up his option yesterday). I was originally a supporter of the Yi experiment, but after watching Yi stumble over his own two feet for the past two years, it’s safe to say that any value we can get for him is certainly good. His hopefully imminent departure represents more than just a poor power forward leaving: it’s a mark of both erasing an idea from the Kiki era and a statement that the Nets, while attempting to become a global brand, are looking for talent over global marketability.