The Nets added a bit of international star power to their summer league roster earlier this week. Ding Yanyuhang, the defending two-time Domestic Most Valuable Player of the Chinese Basketball Association, will suit up in black and white when Brooklyn get its first taste of summer league action in Las Vegas next week.
The 24-year-old Chinese small forward/shooting guard averaged 26 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game for the Shandong Golden Stars this past season. He was teammates with former Brooklyn free agent target and former Houston Rocket forward Dontatas Motiejunas. Yanyuhang’s relationship with the Nets began following workouts with his friend Jeremy Lin at the team’s practice facility while the veteran received medical treatment in New York, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post.
Yanyuhang nearly landed a two-way deal with the Dallas Mavericks last season after playing for their summer league team. He, however, failed to earn a two-way contract. The swingman averaged 6.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 41% from the field and just 22% from beyond the three-point arc.
Despite not landing an NBA deal, he demonstrated an ability to attack the basket against NBA-caliber players on several occasions last summer. His jump shot, however, is not his strength, which may potentially lessen his chances of landing an NBA contract. While he is no floor general, he did demonstrate an ability to make opportunistic and decisive passes to open teammates.
He is not only attempting to follow in Lin’s footsteps in his challenging journey to make the Nets roster. Four-time Domestic Most Valuable Player Award recipient, Yi Jianlian, played two seasons with the team between 2008 and 2010 as well.
Yanyuhang will join current Net Caris LeVert, recent draft picks Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurocs, and several others as he seeks to improve upon his summer league stint with Dallas last July.
This will be Yanyuhang’s second attempt at proving to NBA executives that he deserves to play in the most competitive basketball league in the world. If he doesn’t earn a two-way deal by the fall, the Long Island Nets or another G League team may be an alternative to returning to to the CBA.