Yi and Yao News

Saturday, June 28, 2008

In what's looking to be a busy summer for the NBA, one of the trades that just happened was the swap of Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons for New Jersey's Richard Jefferson which gets Yi into a bigger market (and he can at least say he lives close to New York, at least closer than Milwaukee):

In a deal first reported by ESPN.com's Marc Stein, New Jersey sends forward Richard Jefferson to Milwaukee for forwards Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. No draft picks are involved in the trade. The swap creates an estimated $10-plus million in long-term savings for the Nets as they continue to reshape their team after trading another mainstay -- point guard Jason Kidd -- to Dallas in February.
In Yao news, apparently he's set to start training with the Chinese national team and seems adament on playing (there was a collective sigh in China):

With pressure on Yao to perform, some have questioned whether he would be pushing himself so hard were the Olympics not being held in Beijing. Yao dismissed such speculation, saying that there were "no 'ifs' about the Olympics, there are no 'ifs' about me."

Yao said he would start light training with the national team on Friday, giving him time to learn tactics and strategies worked out by China's Lithuanian-born coach Jonas Kazlauskas. The Chinese men's team is in a tough group at the Olympics, facing the United States in its first game.