November 02, 2011
This report is anonymously sourced, but NIUBball.com has proven to be right on more than its fair share of occasions regarding the NBA-to-China pipeline, and what it's discussing on this otherwise NBA-less Wednesday morning should at least be considered.
Two more NBA free agents are being courted by the Chinese Basketball Association's Zhejiang Guangsha, the team that made waves last summer by hiring Wilson Chandler(notes) to a guaranteed contract (guaranteed on Wilson's end, but also on the CBA's end -- no breaking it even if the NBA does come back), is looking to add two more names of some renown.
One of whom, former Boston Celtics forward Glen Davis(notes), is known to fair-weather fans the world over for his rotund frame and ability to accidentally if not joyfully push unsuspecting teenagers back into their seats. The other, Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan(notes), is a favorite of the League Pass junkies who delight in his massive dunks 'round midnight in the Eastern time zone.
Both would fit overseas, but even with the NBA and its players at a stalemate, would they make the jump?
According to the source, the team had entered negotiations with several NBA free-agent big men over the past two weeks, including Los Angeles Clippers center, DeAndre Jordan, and Boston Celtics forward, Glen Davis. Though there was enough interest on the player side to have back-and-forth talks, the two ultimately walked away from Guangsha due increased optimism back in the United States that there will be an NBA season this year.
So, no. They wouldn't make the jump.
Davis is an unrestricted free agent, and likely to split from the Celtics to less-green pastures.
Jordan, while technically a free agent, is a trickier case.
The Clippers can either offer him a qualifying offer of $1.1 million, incredibly cheap for his production, or they could let him explore the free-agent market and match whatever offer sheet he signs. Though Clippers owner Donald Sterling is well known for his miserly ways, the latter option might be in both the best interest of his team, and his pocketbook -- as Jordan can sign with any team that courts him for whatever price in 2012 if he signs the QO of $1.1 million. And with plenty of teams clearing cap space in 2012 for superstars, he will be a sought-after fallback option.
This is where the CBA and NBA could clash, though. Jordan is technically a free agent; but the CBA wants to do right by David Stern, hence the edict that no NBA player under contract can sign with a CBA team. For a non-free agent free agent like Jordan? It would be interesting to see just how cutthroat the CBA would let its teams, especially the proactive Zhejiang Guangsha squad, work under these hard and fast rules.