ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting that Yi Jianlian told him that he will play in the NBA next season, even if he's taken with the No. 6 pick by the Milwaukee Bucks.
Yi shunned the Bucks by not allowing them to see him work out and his people initially said he will not play in Milwaukee. If he's there at six for the Bucks, it sounds like they still may gamble and take him, risking him refusing to play for them. In other Yi news, the Hawks appear to be torn on whether to take Yi or Al Horford with the third pick. As Katz reported on television, it sounds like Hawks' ownership wants Yi, while the coaching staff prefers Horford at No. 3. Yi's marketing potential with his ties to China is off the charts, and owners are taking notice of the potential financial gain. Coaches, however, simply want the player who gives them the best chance of winning, which at this point is Horford. Of course, if the Hawks trade their picks for Amare Stoudemire, none of this will matter. But given the division in the Hawks hierarchy, it could be a real long shot for them to come to an agreement in making the deal for Amare. Jun. 27 - 4:23 pm et