The 2016-17 NBA season is fast approaching and the Los Angeles Lakers have to trim down their roster to 15 players. The latest rumors imply that the Lakers will be choosing between Yi Jianlian and Metta World Peace for the team’s final roster spot.
In a recent press release on the official website, the Lakers announced that release of three training camp invitees. LA waived power forward Zach Auguste, point guard Julian Jacobs and combo forward Travis Wear to cut the team’s roster to 17 players.
Out of the 17 players available, it safe to say that Anthony Brown, Jose Calderon, Jordan Clarkson, Marcelo Huertas, D’Angelo Russell, Lou Williams, Tarik Black, Luol Deng, Brandon Ingram, Larry Nance, Julius Randle, Nick Young, Timofey Mozgov and Ivica Zubac will make the cut since they are on guaranteed deals.
That leaves Yi Jianlian, Thomas Robinson and Metta World Peace fighting for the final roster spot. Robinson looks like a sure out since he has not lived up to his potential since being drafted fifth overall in 2012. On the other hand, Yi and MWP provide the veteran presence to a young Lakers team.
Shereen Rayan of Lake Show Life thinks that the Lakers will eventually retain Yi Jianlian because of his connection to China. It would be more of a business move for Los Angeles since Yi’s jersey sales will be off the charts.
“I think Yi will get the last spot and there’s one big reason: due to his connection with China. The Lakers organization learned from Kobe and Jeremy Lin that love from China for our Lakers is tremendous. They likely stand to make a lot of money from jersey sales for having a player from China on their team,” Rayan noted.
According to Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors, Yi Jianlian has the edge on World Peace since he has bigger guaranteed money. However, the rumors about the Lakers’ final roster spot are just are purely speculative at the moment and should be taken with a grain of salt.
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