The Washington Wizards are continuing to add weapons around their newly drafted star John Wall.
Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld announced to NBA.com on June 29 that the team has acquired former No. 6 overall pick Yi Jianlian in a trade with the New Jersey Nets. The trade gives Washington a versatile 7-footer who can shoot from range well, while the Nets receive guard Quinton Ross and cash consideration. The trade also allows New Jersey to dump Yi’s $4 million contract, giving them more salary cap space to sign high-profile free agents.
“This trade is a good opportunity to add a skilled 7-footer with significant NBA experience, who was the sixth overall pick in the draft just three years ago,” Grunfeld said in a released statement. “Yi fits in very well with our ongoing plan of building towards the future with a core of young, talented players.”
Yi, a native of China, is the second biggest star from his country in the NBA behind Houston Rockets All-Star Yao Ming. The 22-year-old forward was traded to the Nets in 2008 and averaged 12 points and seven rebounds in 51 starts last season, each career highs.
Yi is now the second player the Wizards have traded for this summer, joining veteran combo-guard Kirk Hinrich, who was acquired from the Chicago Bulls for cash consideration. Both Hinrich and Yi provide Washington with stellar perimeter shooters to surround new floor general John Wall.