After a one year odyssey, Stephon Marbury is finally coming to the capital.
According to Sina Sports, Beijing Shougang and Marbury have agreed to a one-year deal. An anonymous source talking to NetEase Sports yesterday put the contract at around $1.4 million for the year. However, Beijing general manager Yuan Chao was quoted today as saying the deal worth roughly $100,000 per month (H/T hoopCHINA).
Last season Marbury played for the Foshan Dralions, where he averaged 25.2 points, 5.7 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 1.6 steals.
The announcement ends a long period of speculation that had linked Beijing and Marbury together. In June, news in China reported that the two sides had an undisclosed agreement for the upcoming season, which Marbury quickly denied.
But it always appeared likely that Beijing and Marbury would get something done as Marbury has long had his eye on the city. Before the start of last season, Marbury flew to Beijing to meet with team management after he was unexpectedly released by Shanxi Zhongyu in November. Though the team was interested in signing a high-profile former NBA player, the Ducks ultimately passed and chose to sign Steve Francis instead, who lasted with the team for less than two weeks.
Beijing should be an ideal fit for Marbury. In contrast to the two cities where he played the last two seasons, Taiyuan and Foshan, Beijing is a modern international city with a large ex-pat population and is thus a desirable spot for any foreign import to play. Furthermore, it is the home of LeTao, the online shoe retailer who is partnered with his Starbury shoe line. A casual line of his shoes have been available online since April.
Highly likely to join Marbury in Beijing is former New York Knicks and Atlanta Hawks center, Randolph Morris, who played a full season with the team last season. Though he has not officially re-signed, a deal is expected to be reached soon.
With this season’s rules on foreign players officially set, there will be a lot of activity over the next few weeks as teams look to fill out their import rosters for next season.