The Los Angeles Lakers were informed by Yi Jianlian that he would like to be released by the team. It comes as no surprise, giving that he barely made the court this preseason but his departure may be a blessing.
It was often noted that the final spot would come down to either Yi, Metta World Peace and Thomas Robinson. With Yi moving on and World Peace possibly looking at a career in coaching the Lakers must continue to move forward.
Signing Robinson and his hustle is the best option. Metta is a warrior but at this stage in his career all he can offer is words and guidance. I have noting but respect for his game but why waste a roster spot on a player that if he was forced he can’t offer major minutes?[embedit snippet=”2″]
Robinson is the smarter choice as he still has some upside left in his career. If the rumors are true about Metta joining the coaching ranks then he will still have the same access to the players this year. The Lakers are still a young unit and will need more than words to get them through what is sure to be a grind of a year.
Not only do they have to figure out what to do since Kobe is not around, they also have to figure out a new offensive scheme due to the coaching change. This is a new season of sorts with new players like Luol Deng, Timofey Mozgov and Brandon Ingram now onboard.
If Metta were to slide to the coaching side he can have more of a hands on approach in the teaching process. I’m pretty sure the Lakers had plans for Yi if he stayed but it was a long shot that he was going to make the team anyway.
Yi just did the Lakers a huge favor, now they must pay it forward by keeping Robinson.