Hold that thought about Gilbert Arenas playing in China this season.
After reporting last week that Arenas and the Guangdong Southern Tigers were nearing an agreement over a contract this season, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is now writing that negotiations are at an impasse.
Citing an anonymous source, Wojnarowski’s is reporting that whatever verbal agreements were made last week have essentially fallen apart as there are considerable differences over salary. Guangdong is also calling into question Arenas’ physical condition.
But, according to a NiuBBall.com source who confirmed Wojnarowski’s report, there’s another issue as well: Guangdong’s insistence that Arenas has an in-China try-out before any contract is made official. With question marks not only over Arenas’ health, but his ability to adapt to China life altogether, Guangdong management is remaining leery at handing over large amounts of guaranteed money without first knowing exactly what they’re paying for.
Up to this point, Arenas has been cool on flying out to China without a solid contract. According to Wojnarowski, Arenas was slated to arrive in China early this week, but with an agreement having yet to be finalized, he is still in the United States. As a result, Guangdong is currently looking for other players.
Today, Guangdong general manger, Liu Hongjiang, expressed frustration over the entire import-finding process: “Right now, it’s really hard to find foreign players,” said Liu in a story appearing in the Beijing News. “I think Chinese clubs don’t have any power to take the initiative in that respect. The second [the player side] opens their mouth, they want one million dollars or more. How can that much money be worth it [for the team]?”
In an interview with posted this afternoon by Sina Sports, Arenas was quoted saying he is preparing to come to China to play with Guangdong. The piece also states that he is willing to undergo a try-out with the team, although Arenas is not quoted as saying such during the actual interview.
Earlier today, on Gilbert Arenas’ recently opened Sina Weibo account, the former All-Star wrote: “Packed and ready to go to China! Can’t wait to meet my coaches and teammates and reunite with my buddy Yi for a Championship run.”
This afternoon, he directed a Weibo at Yi Jianlian, saying: “Hey buddy, I’m coming!”
Meanwhile, Guangdong’s other import is completely set as Derrick Caracter has recently officially been signed. Caracter, who was drafted with the 58th overall pick in 2010 by the Los Angeles Lakers, played 41 games with the Lakers in 2010-11. In December 2011, he tore his meniscus and was sent down to the NBA D-League after his recovery, where he spent the rest of the season after he was waived by the Lakers in February 2012.