The Jiangsu Dragons’ Ricky Davis and the Zhejiang Golden Bulls’ Mike James are no strangers to each other on the court, having faced off against each other for years in the NBA. After going against each other for the first time in China on Sunday, they might have played as opponents for the last.
According to a source speaking anonymously to NiuBBall.com, Zhejiang Chouzhou and Jiangsu are both set to cut their high-profile imports by the end of the week.
Zhejiang will release James within the next couple of days and replace him with former San Antonio Spurs draftee, Marcus Williams. Williams is scheduled to arrive in China by tomorrow and is probable to suit up on Friday against Shanxi. The 6-3 guard played 30 games with Chouzhou last year after being waived by the Spurs in October, averaging 19.7 points and 11.2 rebounds.
But, James is not the only NBA veteran to be on the way out after just two weeks into the season.
According to the same source, Jiangsu’s Davis is also on the way out after the team has privately started a search for a replacement import guard. Davis, averaging a dissapointing 14.9 points a game, has already expressed displeasure with his teammates and with his role on the team. Davis wasn’t in the starting lineup on Sunday’s win against Chouzhou, playing only 21 minutes and scoring 7 points on 3-9 shooting.
James and Davis are two of the many long-time, higher profile former NBA players who were lured across the Pacific as a result of the league’s decision in the off-season to lift all cap restrictions for import players this year. Originally brought in to boost both teams’ record and ticket sales, Zhejiang and Jiangsu ownership have quickly soured on the two’s overall attitude, individual performance and commitment towards playing in China.
“They realize that these guys just aren’t worth the money,” the source said.
Though James has scored the ball well, averaging 28.5 points over the team’s first four games, Zhejiang has slumped to a disappointing 1-3 record to start the year. And while Jiangsu is off to a strong 3-1 start, Davis, playing in the backcourt alongside the accomplished Hu Xuefeng, an offensive minded player who has played on multiple occasions for the Chinese national team over the last decade, has struggled to adapt on offense and has grown increasingly frustrated over his lack of touches on that end of the court.
Chouzhou plays Wednesday in Round Five action against 2-2 Shanghai, while Jiangsu plays last place Jilin.