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J.R. Smith in the Chinese League

By: Chinick Weideman

Denver Nuggets free agent J.R. Smith is following Wilson Chandler overseas. Smith, whose deal with the Denver Nuggets expired in the offseason, signed a contract to play in China for this season. Smith signed a one year-contract with a team in Zhejiang and he won't be allowed to play in the NBA if there is a 2011-12 season. Chandler is going to the same province but not to the same team.

Smith was a free agent and was one of 100 or so players allowed to sign with the CBA (Chinese Basketball Association). He closed a deal that apparently would make him the highest-paid player in the history of the Chinese Basket ball Association.
Smith averaged 12.3 points and 2.2 assists as the Nuggets' sixth man last season. He's been a fan favorite for his 3-point shooting and his electric dunks. However he sometimes upsets coach George Karl for his confusing shot selection

Ty Lawson, is also going abroad since he chose to play in Lithuania. However Lawson is able to come back to the United States if the lockout ends and there is an NBA season.
The NBA owners are divided over a salary cap structure, locking out the players in a labor dispute. The Chinese Basketball Association has already told players that they can't opt out of their deals to return to the NBA. The Chinese season finishes in March.

These players consider that the lockout will last a while, and they prefer to play in the Chinese Basketball Association than wait NBA to start again.
The NBA seasons seems to be uncertain. The talks are going nowhere and no more meetings are scheduled. For this reason more players might be interested in going overseas. Other players really want to play basketball this season and are considering playing in Asia as an option.

It is considered that the entire league is going through an adaptation with the players. The players need to make the best out of this unfavorable situation. There is an adjustment whether they choose to play in Asia, Europe or whether they stay in the United States to play pick up or work out.

Basketball is the most popular sport in China, the world's most populated country with 1.3 billion people.At least 300 million Chinese play the game. The figure is equivalent to the population size of the United States.The quality of Chinese basketball has improved by leaps and bounds in the past three-and-a-half decades.China unquestionably has been a major force in Asian men's basketball for more than three decades now.

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