J.R. Smith is reportedly joining Denver Nuggets teammate Wilson Chandler in China. Smith might sign the richest contract in CBA history.
Wilson Chandler might not be the only Denver Nuggets player headed to China if a new report holds true. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Nuggets unrestricted free agent J.R. Smith is close to signing the largest contract in Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) history. The deal is reportedly with Shanxi and worth over $3 million for the upcoming season.
Smith can make the jump to China, just like Wilson Chandler, because he is not under an existing contract in the NBA. The CBA passed a rule that prevents players under contract in the NBA from singing with Chinese teams. The league also won't provide opt-out clauses to any eligible player not under contract in the NBA. This means that Chandler, a restricted free agent, and Smith cannot return to the NBA and sign a contract until their CBA contracts expire. That is, provided the league is back in business.
Unless their Chinese teams are in the playoffs, Chandler and Smith could conceivably sign with NBA teams for the final weeks of the NBA season and possibly take place in the NBA playoffs.
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