RIO DE JANEIRO -- The Los Angeles Lakers are finalizing a deal to bring China star Yi Jianlian back to the NBA, according to league sources.
Sources told ESPN that the Lakers and Yi have agreed to terms and are in the latter stages of cementing a one-year deal in the $8 million range for the veteran forward to return to the NBA for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
The Lakers, sources said, tried in the summer of 2015 to sign Yi and this year renewed those efforts in the wake of the former lottery pick's strong play in Rio on his fourth trip to the Olympics as a cornerstone player for China.
Although the Lakers have not yet made an official announcement about the player's impending arrival and a few details are still outstanding, Yi's club team in China is operating as though the deal is done.
The Guangdong Southern Tigers, in a statement issued Wednesday, said: "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."
The 7-footer, now 28, has spent the past four seasons with Guangdong and averaged 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds for China in its five games in Rio.