Yi Jianlian, a promising 22-year-old forward, was traded from the Nets to the Wizards today. “Trade” may not accurately describe the deal -the Nets gave Yi and $3 million to the Wizards, pushing New Jersey further under the cap, obviously in hopes of make a run at LeBron.
This is getting silly – after waiving Keyon Dooling, the Nets have just six players on the roster. This is the second time in a week the Wizards have helped a team create cap space for LeBron – Washington took Kirk Hinrich’s $9 million contract (and the 17th pick, which turned into Kevin Seraphin) from the Bulls on draft day. Essentially, the Heat, Nets and Bulls are in prime position to grab LeBron and perhaps Chris Bosh. (The Knicks have the most cap space.) We haven’t yet formed any theories on why the Wizards would help two Eastern Conference teams purge their rosters in hopes of landing LeBron, but here are two theories:
1) They’re putting together some kind of package to ship Gilbert Arenas out of town.
2) Since Washington knows it isn’t a free agent player this summer, why not taking on expiring contracts such as Yi and Hinrich in hopes of having massive cap room next summer to make a run at someone?