Fegan will represent Yi for contract, marketing

Agent Dan Fegan will represent Chinese basketball star Yi Jianlian, one of the top international players available in the 2007 NBA draft.

Fegan flew to China last week to sign an agreement to represent Yi in both marketing ventures and in his negotiations for his first NBA contract. The signing is considered somewhat of a coup for Fegan, a longtime NBA agent whose present clients include Jason Richardson, Troy Murphy, Nene, Anderson Varejao, Stephen Jackson, Rafer Alston, Matt Carroll, Erick Dampier, Austin Croshere, Reggie Evans, Melvin Ely, Kris Humphries, DerMarr Johnson, Shawn Marion, Eduardo Najera, Ruben Patterson, Joe Smith and Jason Terry.

Yi has been a member of the Chinese senior men's national team since 2004, when then-coach Del Harris made him a starter at the Athens Olympics despite his relative inexperience and youth. Yi is listed by the Chinese federation as being born Oct. 27, 1987, though there is a widespread belief that he is actually at least a couple of years older -- a mystery so deep that even Yao Ming has said publicly that he does not know Yi's true age.

One NBA scout recently told ESPN.com draft analyst Chad Ford that the 6-foot-11 Yi (pronounced Ee) could be a top-five pick in the 2007 draft. Yi's game is sometimes compared to that of Utah's Andrei Kirilenko.

Yi's Chinese Basketball Association team in Guangdong has won the past three league championships, and the team's owner recently gave his approval for Yi to enter the 2007 draft. Yi is one of the biggest marketing icons in Asia for Nike, which is believed to have Yi under contract through 2012.

Chris Sheridan covers the NBA for ESPN Insider. To e-mail Chris, click here.