Lakers waive Yi Jianlian; Metta World Peace makes roster

Chinese star Yi Jianlian and forward Anthony Brown were the final two players waived by the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, meaning former All-Star forward Metta World Peace and fellow veteran Thomas Robinson have made the team's season-opening roster.

With the Lakers facing roster cut-down decisions by 5 p.m. ET on Monday, Yi and his representatives requested that the team let him go to pursue other opportunities -- largely because the role he envisioned in Los Angeles didn't materialize.

"Yi was productive in practices and games with us, and was a consummate professional both on and off the court," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. "However, he felt that the minutes and opportunities he'd be afforded here were not in line with his goals and ambitions, and that he'd be better off in a different situation. We appreciate his efforts and wish him great success as he goes forward with his career."

This will mark NBA season No. 17 for World Peace, who will turn 37 in November. He averaged 5.0 points over 16.9 minutes in 35 appearances for the Lakers last season.

After his strong play with China in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Yi was signed by the Lakers in August to a one-year, $8 million deal that was uniquely structured, featuring $6.8 million in what the league deemed "likely" bonuses.

But the defined role Yi expected when he agreed to leave the Guangdong Southern Tigers in his native China -- with minutes at both power forward and center -- didn't pan out as he had hoped this month, prompting the 28-year-old to seek his release.

"Coming in, we knew we had a few young guys that we really like and want to develop and we had just signed [Timofey] Mozgov to a pretty big deal, so he was really going to have to outplay everybody to get big minutes, because of the players we needed to develop," coach Luke Walton said. "He did a great job. He was great while he was here. He proves that he belongs in this league, but I don't think at the end of it that he was happy with the minutes that it looked like, at least, he was getting. So they asked for the release."

The Lakers had been pursuing Yi for the past two offseasons before they finally managed to sign him to a deal and bring him back to the NBA.

It was not immediately known whether Yi would try to catch on with another‎ NBA team or look to return to the Chinese Basketball Association.

The 7-footer was the No. 6 pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2007 draft. He also had stints with the Brooklyn Nets, Washington Wizards and Dallas Mavericks in parts of five NBA seasons. Yi spent the past four seasons with Guangdong, and he averaged 20.4 points and 6.6 rebounds for China in its five games in Rio.

For Robinson, who is entering his fifth season in the league, the Lakers will be his seventh team after being drafted fifth overall by the Sacramento Kings in 2012.

Brown, a second-year wing, played sparingly in 2015-16 and throughout this preseason.

The Lakers open their 2016-17 season Wednesday when they host the Houston Rockets at Staples Center.

ESPN staff writer Baxter Holmes contributed to this report.