After playing the last five games without Marcus Williams — the previous three of which have been losses — the Shanxi Brave Dragons have officially signed a long-term replacement.
Christian Eyenga, who was drafted in the first round by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2009, has formally been announced as Shanxi’s newest foreign player and has already linked up with the team in Taiyuan. According to Chinese media, the league has received Eyenga’s letter of clearance and he will thus be available to play in tonight’s nationally televised game against Fujian SBS.
Before signing in China, Eyenga was playing in the D-League with the Texas Legends. Eyenga played two seasons in the NBA with the Cavaliers and with the Los Angeles Lakers, averaging 6.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 51 total appearances.
Eyenga’s arrival puts Shanxi’s original choice, Nate Miles, in the back seat for now. Looking at the prospect of playing with just a single import after Williams left the team, Shanxi moved to sign the former UCONN recruit to a short-term deal in order to buy some time and look for a more proven player. Miles, who hasn’t played professional basketball since being expelled from UCONN in 2008 before playing a single game, caught the attention of Shanxi decision makers after scoring over 50 points in a summer exhibition game last year against the team’s Chinese roster while playing on an American tour-team.
But according to the Taiyuan Evening Paper, Miles, upon joining the team, was unable to acquire his letter of clearance and was thus unable to take the court in any of the games after Williams’ departure. Despite the fact that Miles did not play professionally prior to landing in Shanxi, the document is one that Chinese teams require before officially registering foreign players. According to the report, Miles will stay on with the team as a practice player and will serve as a contingency in case anything happens with Eyenga.
Losers of three straight, Shanxi currently sits in fourth place at 11-7.
Foshan’s Rashad McCants likely to get cut
As the CBA heads deeper into the second half of the season, more foreign player changes appear to be coming, with the latest one coming in Foshan. According to the Guangzhou Daily, McCants is set to be replaced, possibly by former Maccabi Tel-Aviv guard, Deron Perkins. According to the report, McCants is not with the team for their upcoming two-game road trip.
McCants, who came in as a late pre-season replacement for Jerome Randle, has put up solid statistics, but has struggled to blend into the team and its overall system. McCants is averaing 19.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists.
Foshan’s record stands at 7-11.
Blake Ahearn off to a solid start in DongGuan
Coming in mid-season for the DongGuan Leopards, who got a piece of bad luck when Lester Hudson went down for the year with broken finger on his right hand, former Missouri State standout Ahearn has gotten off to a good start in China.
After managing only four points in his CBA debut against Xinjiang, the former all-time D-League points leader hit for 37 and 33 in his last to games against Guangsha and Shanxi and appears to be adjusting well to his new surroundings. DongGuan is 9-9 on the season, sitting in 11th place.