Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Smith signs deal to play in China

source: Adrian Wojnarowski

Denver Nuggets free-agent guard J.R. Smith(notes) has signed a one-year contract with Zhejiang Wanma of the China Basketball Association, a source told Yahoo! Sports.

Smith and Nuggets free-agent forward Wilson Chandler(notes) are now the two highest-paid players in the Chinese league. Neither player can return to play in the NBA until the end of the Chinese season.

Smith had been in advanced talks with another Chinese team – Shanxi – before that deal unraveled.

Under league rules, the China Basketball Association is no longer signing NBA players who want opt-out clauses to return to the NBA prior to the end of the Chinese season. China’s season runs through March.

Smith, 26, has averaged 12.5 points per game in his seven-year NBA career.