It’s truly a shame that Yao Ming’s most distinguishing characteristic and physical asset has also been his downfall. The 7’6″ center, who played in all but two games his first three years in the league, has been plagued by injuries the past five seasons. His oversized and fragile body cannot handle the stress of running up and down a basketball court 30 minutes per game, 80 times a year, and it has resulted in multiple foot injuries. As such, the Houston Rockets are likely to give up on their former franchise player in the off-season, if not sooner.
Yao’s expiring $17.6 million contract could become a valuable trade asset around the time of the deadline. But once his deal ends after the season, who will want to sign him? Yao has said he wants to continue his NBA career, but he surely won’t command anywhere close to $17 million given his chronic foot and leg problems. Enter the Golden State Warriors.
At the end of a long column about a potential Carmelo Anthony trade to the Nets (yawn), Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports tossed in a nugget about the possibility that the Warriors make a run at Yao over the summer. He suggests their motivation may be to bring in someone who will be a major attraction within the local Asian community. Former Harvard point guard Jeremy Lin, who was recently recalled from the D League by the Warriors, has become a fan favorite. Yao Ming is a global icon and he would likely become an instant attraction in NorCal. If it does happen, it will certainly be at a major pay cut.Google+