According to the Washington Post, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers (aka Kenyon Martin’s team) have signed dominutive point guard Patrick “Patty” Mills, formerly of the Portland Trailblazers. Mills had been spending his NBA lockout playing for the Melbourne Tigers (notice that the Tigers don’t fly in Australia… only in China), where he was under contract to ball until the season finishes or the NBA gets its sh!t together–whichever comes first. That was the plan until Xinjiang’s star shooting guard, former Sacramento King Quincy Douby, suffered a broken wrist that will put him on the shelf for the forseeable future. Xinjiang has appeared in three straight CBA Finals, but finished as runner-up each and every time. Three straight Ls to Guangdong motivated the team to spend a reported $10 million USD to bring in big-name players and coaches from the States, so you could certainly say that they’re going all out for that 2012 title. Douby’s injury is a huge blow, especially because Guangdong has made moves of their own–Yi Jianlian, Aaron Brooks, and James Singleton, to be specific. It’s been reported that Xinjiang is/was in hot pursuit of Atlanta Hawks scoring machine Jamal Crawford, but I’m thinking the signing of Mills means they gave up on that.
So, to sum all of that up: Patty’s a little dude with some massive Chinese shoes to fill. Douby is a bonafide stud over there–one of the best imports in the league’s history. The addition of Kenyon Martin obviously made the team a lot better, but he’s not going to be the guy with the ball in his hands down the stretch. I assume that will now become Patty’s role.
In other CBA news, according to ESPN.com, NBA Champion Tyson Chandler has been offered a deal by Zhejiang Guangsha (that’s Wilson Chandler’s team)…
One NBA star named Chandler is not enough for the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions in China.
Having already signed Denver Nuggets restricted free agent Wilson Chandler, Zhejiang Guangsha has extended an offer to Dallas Mavericks free-agent center Tyson Chandler, according to sources with knowledge of the talks.
Teams in China are permitted, under new league rules enacted for this season, to sign NBA free agents. Chinese teams likewise can’t offer in-season outs to return to the NBA, meaning any player who signs there is obligated to stay there until the end of the Chinese season in March.
Wilson Chandler decided early in the summer that he could live with those terms, but sources told ESPN.com that Tyson Chandler — projected to be one of the top free agents in the NBA along with Nuggets center Nene and New Orleans Hornets forward David West when the 143-day old lockout ends — is starting to weigh the pros and cons tied to making the same jump.
Sources say one scenario that has been presented to Tyson Chandler would be taking the deal with Zhejiang Guangsha and then returning to the NBA in March, assuming the lockout does eventually end, to sign a short-term contract with the Mavericks or another contender for what’s left of the 2011-12 season. Going that route could prove risky if Chandler didn’t return to Dallas and thus surrendered his Bird rights, but it is an option on the table that could shift Chandler into the mighty free-agent class of 2012 that’s also projected to feature Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Steve Nash.
Wilson Chandler is Zhejiang Guangsha’s current star import and longtime Phil Jackson assistant Jim Cleamons is the Lions coach. Orlando Magic free-agent big man Earl Clark signed with the Lions early in the summer as well but returned to the States in September for personal reasons. According to NiuBBall.com, Cleamons’ team has also pursued Los Angeles Clippers restricted free-agent center DeAndre Jordan and Boston Celtics big man Glen Davis in recent weeks.
Interesting. I don’t think Tyson Will take the deal, though; not after what happened to JR Smith today. For those of you who aren’t aware, JR went down with a knee injury in the closing minutes of his CBA debut. Everyone’s speculating that it’s pretty serious due to it’s non-contact nature as well as reports stating that he was unable to leave the arena under his own power. I understand that what happened to JR is a fluke thing… but Tyson Chandler is a 29 year old coming off of a championship season that has him set to get a big, long-term deal from one of the NBA’s better squads. It’ll probably be his final big, long-term deal. Is it likely that he’ll suffer some nasty injury in China? No. Would it be wise to take such a risk, though? Not according to me.
I think Tyson’s always been overrated. He’s never excelled without a star point guard to set the table for him. He was very fortunate to land in a perfect situation, he’s got everybody fooled, and the only thing that could possibly keep him from capitalizing is a devestating injury.
He won’t take the risk. I’d like to see him give China a shot–he’d be an absolute monster in the paint just skating on his physical gifts alone–but he’s not about to put all that money on the line.