The clock is nearing zero on the countdown to the start of the CBA regular season, which means among other things, all of the loose ends regarding foreign player spots are being tied up. To help you lace up your shoes and get ready for some Chinese hoops, we’re getting you on your feet quicker with some nice tidy updates (in bullet form, of course).
- It’s already been a busy off-season for the Guangdong Southern Tigers. Signing back old son, Yi Jianlian, flirting with Gilbert Arenas, settling on Terrence Williams instead, locking in Derrick Caracter… And yet, they’re still not done with their roster. According to a NiuBBall.com source, the seven-time champs are engaged in serious talks to bring in former NBA lottery pick, Ike Diogu. Per the source, who spoke anonymously, the recently brought-in Caracter and southern China are not matching nicely together, so Southern Tigers management have made the decision to move forward in finding a replacement before the season starts later this month. Diogu, who played during the post-season last season for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers, was on the team’s initial radar coming into the summer signing period, but Diogu put his career in China on hold to pursue another shot at the NBA. But the former Arizona State standout was waived by the Phoenix Suns last month and now a free-agent, Guangdong is ready to revisit negotiations. Diogu has played for six teams in six seasons in the NBA, playing last with the Spurs in 2012.
- Gilbert Arenas, who has been in Shanghai working out with the Sharks, has impressed both the coaching staff and front office, but at present an official deal has yet to be announced by the team. On Friday, Chinese website, QQ Sports, reported that the two sides have come together on a one-year deal that will include a mutual option for a second. If that holds up, Arenas would replace Elijah Millsap.
- Fujian SBS, also no strangers to off-season change after having hired a new head coach (Tab Baldwin) and releasing a longtime fixture on the team’s roster (Gong Songlin), are extending their shakeup into mid-November. Once ready to go forward with guard Justin Dentmon, the Sturgeons abruptly swapped him out for six-year NBA veteran, Stephen Graham. Only now remembering that they have no viable Chinese option at point guard, the team is now making their third import change within the last four weeks, this going with Sundiatta Gaines. In three seasons, Gaines has played for the Jazz, Raptors and Nets. He was waived before the start of this season by the Pacers. Gaines will pair up with 2011-12 NiuBBall.com All-CBA First Team center, Will McDonald.
- According to Yahoo! Sports, D.J. Mbenga will be Tracy McGrady’s teammate in Qingdao this year. A two-time NBA champion with the Lakers from 2008-10, the seven-foot center last played in the NBA in 2011-12 with the Hornets.
- More loose ends… Jiangsu signed CBA lao tou, Mike Harris… Tianjin will once again go with two bigs for their regular import slots, adding center Hamady N’diaye next to Donnell Harvey… Dewarick Spencer in Jilin…