Friday, July 6, 2007

Marty Burns on Yi

Marty Burns of CNNSI weighs in on the Yi situation. A lot of this is stuff we already know--Harris says they're not trading him, Yi's camp refuses to talk to the Bucks, etc--but there are a couple noteworthy points:

  • Harris is now in Vegas and hopes to meet with Yi as soon as possible. Krystkowiak will also be watching Yi play since he's there for the Bucks' summer league games anyway.
  • One source has told Burns that the Warriors haven't even called the Bucks about Yi. That meshes with what Warriors beat writer Tim Kawakami said following the draft, that Mullin was probably never that interested in Yi and the Warriors' purported interest came primarily from Don Nelson and Yi's own camp. You rarely see draft picks traded during the summer, in part because picks can't be traded for 30 days after they sign. Aside from that, teams pick guys they like, so it makes sense that they're not bending over backwards trying to trade them the rest of the summer. If a trade happens it's going to happen on draft night.
  • Overall the interest in Yi appears limited. From what I've read the Sixers sound like the only team that might actually be pursuing Yi. While GMs are obviously competing with one another, you also wonder if some are hesitant to poach Yi because Harris and the Bucks are in many ways fighting the good fight here. If Yi gives in and plays for the Bucks it will set a positive precedent for teams dealing with unwilling draftees. Aside from that, the universe of "acceptable" teams to Yi is limited in the first place, and while Atlanta and Boston have already passed on Yi once, teams like Chicago and Golden State both picked big men and seem to be moving on.
  • Interesting quote from Magic president Pat Williams about drafting Shaq in '92:
    "I remember back in '92, Shaq didn't want to come here. From the time we won the lottery, his agent [Leonard Armato] made it clear he wanted to be in L.A. But we had to draft him. What else were we going to do?"

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