Yi Jianlian Signed a Lockout Deal in China

by October 10, 2011
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Yi Jianlian is headed back home to China for the remainder of this NBA lockout. Reports the WaPo: Until the NBA and its players’ union can come to a resolution on a new collective bargaining agreement, Yi Jianlian is returning to the place where his professional basketball career started. Jarinn Akana, one of Yi’s representatives, confirmed that his client has signed a contract with the Guangdong Southern Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association which will have an NBA out for whenever the labor dispute is settled. ‘Although he may not stay with us very long, I am quite sure his return is good for himself, the team and Chinese fans as well,’ Guangdong Hongyuan’s team manager Liu Hongjiang told the Chinese news agency, Xinhua. ‘He could keep his edge in CBA, our team will also benefit from his skills and fans certainly want to see him play at his best years.’ The CBA was allowed to sign only free agent NBA players, and Yi is an unrestricted free agent after the Wizards declined to extend his $5.4 million qualifying offer for next season. Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin have all signed to play in China since the league decided to lock out its players on July 1, but the CBA does not allow foreign players to leave until the conclusion of the season.”