RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Los Angeles Lakers are in advanced discussions to bring China star Yi Jianlian back to the NBA, ESPN.com has learned.
Sources told ESPN.com that the Lakers tried in the summer of 2015 to sign Yi and have renewed those efforts in the wake of the former lottery pick's fourth trip to the Summer Olympics as a cornerstone player for China.
The 7-footer, now 28, has spent the past four seasons with the Guangdong Southern Tigers in the Chinese Basketball Association. He has averaged 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds for China in its five games in Rio.
"In order to help Yi seize this opportunity to play at the highest stage of [the basketball] world and unfold his capability, in order to help Yi fulfill his dream and goal, we are offering our unconditional support and cooperation to Yi to make sure he joins Lakers. Best wishes to Yi for his bright future in NBA," Guangdong said in a translated statement.
A deal is not yet done to secure Yi's return to the NBA, but sources say talks are ongoing and that the Lakers are hopeful of adding him to the roster before training camp begins in late September.