The next big prospect from China after Yao Ming. A 7 footer with the agility and coordination of a much smaller player, plus explosiveness rarely found in Asian players. Has an American style of game, very quick and athletic.
Loves the transition game and gets a lot of highlight dunks In the CBA, Yi has made a solid transition from prospect to star player becoming the MVP of his CBA champion Guangdong Tigers team.
Smart player, makes good decisions showing improvement on the offensive end of the floor, Can face the basket from 12-15 feet and get by bigger players off the dribble as well as knock down shots out to 18 feet with consistency.
Has good shooting mechanics and overall fundamentals.
Seems to have modeled his fadeaway jumpshot after Dirk Nowitzki, and though it's not as accurate, it is extremely tough to defend. Has good touch around the basket and shows good creativity on the drive.
Plays with solid aggressiveness, competitive player with a high level of energy and intensity.
Grabs rebounds well using his leaping ability. Solid defensively as a shot blocker, with good timing and possesses good lateral quickness. Has a fiery side(unlike Yao), if he gets elbowed he will get payback. But by no means is he a hothead or looking for trouble, he's just a competitor.
He's a tweener, but a "good tweener". Doesn't fit a position perfectly as he's more of a finesse player and too big to play the 3 position, but his combination of size and versatility makes him a very intriguing. At times can be too laid back on the floor, so raising his intensity level is important.
Has good shooting mechanics but has a slow release. Could become a good shooter but probably never a great shooter. His hands are a little weak, making it easier for opponents to poke the ball away (Yao Ming has the same problem).
Needs to continue to gain upper body and arm strength, without losing any quickness. If he adds additional strength, he will be able to fight for rebounds better. He has no problems now, but it will be an adjustment to the speed and strength of the NBA. Also like Yao the adjustment to a much longer season will take time.
The general consensus in China is that he is actually born in 1984 or 1985, meaning he wouldn't enter the NBA until he's actually 25 years of age if he stays in China until his 1987 draft year. His game has matured to where he needs better competition to push him.
He is a superior athlete in China, and lacks a great competition level, so his game is deteriorating to an extent staying in China in such crucial development years.