It’s that time of year again. Teams of the Chinese Basketball Association are calling their “foreign experts” to give them advice on the best available foreign players to come out to China. Those best available foreign players are usually players who are on the back end of their NBA career. Or once upon a time they played a minute with Yao Ming on the Houston Rockets.
For what its worth, CBA teams are the highest paying teams servicing foreign talent in Asia. This year, Andray Blatche remains the highest paid foreigner in China at $2.5 million per year. While the CBA season doesn’t start until November, teams are actively looking for their next foreign players.
On July 7th, 2015, Sportando.com reported former Dallas Mavericks point guard Dominique Jones signed a new deal with the Shanxi Brave Dragons. Jones has spent the last two seasons in China playing for the Liaoning Leopards and the Jilin Northeast Tigers. His best season came with Jilin where he averaged 36.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 2.6 steals per game. Last season, Shanxi parted ways with Von Wafer after he punched a Chinese player in the crotch area and threw a chair into the stands. If you want to see the video, we’ve got it here.
It’s been reported that Jones is already in China training with the team. Traditionally foreign players arrive in China about a month before the season. But Jones is ready to prove to the rest of the world that he is hungry for a CBA title.
Last season Asian import Hamed Haddadi lifted the Double Star Eagles from the CBA’s basement to 3rd place to finish the year. Of course with the successful season Qingdao will be forced to give up their Asian import. But this young group of foreign players might be able to keep them in the playoffs. Former Michigan State star Kalin Lucas and undrafted rookie Alan Williams have both signed with Qingdao.
On November 19th, 2014, Lucas made his NBA debut for the Memphis Grizzlies against the Toronto Raptors playing only five minutes. He was waived the next day. Lucas last played in the Turkish Basketball League for TED Ankara Kolejliler. Earlier this year, while playing in the NBA D-League, Lucas made national headlines for fighting his own teammate on the bench. Both he and his teammate got tossed.
Alan Williams surprised a lot of scouts playing for the Houston Rockets Summer League team in Las Vegas, earning himself All-NBA Second Team Summer League honors.
I’m told Esteban Batista, transferred to China, signed for $1.2 million.
— David Pick (@IAmDPick) July 23, 2015
Esteban Batista is 31-years-old and has been playing pro basketball for thirteen years. The $1.2 million contract might be a little high, but it’s a chance for Batista to prove he is worth that kind of money. Chongqing finished the 2014-2015 campaign with only four wins. They were an expansion team so there weren’t a lot of expectations. So if Batista can help the team find eight wins this year it will be classified as a success.