UPDATE 2:48 pm: This has basically become official, with multiple sources confirming it now.
The deal is Yi Jianlian and $3 million cold hard cash to the Wizards for Quinton Ross. Yi and Blatche will compete for the starting job power forward job, with just-drafted rookie Trevor Booker trying to find some minutes in there. But I still want to see Blatche and Yi play together.
12:55 pm: How does an Andray Blatche/Yi Jianlian front line paired with John Wall sound? Not sure how good it will be, but it will be fun to watch.
According to the Bergen Record, the Nets are on the verge of sending Yi to the Wizards for cash and one player who makes “significantly less.” That could be a draft pick (not Wall) or Quinton Ross.
For the Nets, they save even more money under the cap, as Yi will make $4 million this year. That gives them more money to go after free agents, about $30 million, which is the only plan in Jersey.
For the Wizards, it gives them a talented forward who has never quite found his game in the NBA and battled injury problems. He gave the Nets 32 minutes and 12 points a game last year, but shot just 40 percent on the season. He’s a forward who shot just 51 percent at the rim and is all too happy to shoot the three. He’s an okay rebounder.
Washington is taking some risk based on potential. But they are building and risks are part of that process. At least smart ones.