Sep 14, 2011, 12:18 AM EDT
What is the Chinese word for “gunner?”
That word might now be J.R. Smith. The talented, athletic Denver swingman who never saw a shot he didn’t like has signed to play in China for next season, according to reports out of China via Nuibball.com as well as Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. He will be the most talented player in that league.
The deal is Zhejiang Chouzhou for $3 million — the richest deal in Chinese league history — and he cannot leave the team before next March, according to the reports. The Chinese Basketball Association has put in a rule banning opt-out contracts and only allowing NBA free agents to sign there. Smith had been close to a deal with the richest team in China — Shanxi — but that fell apart recently.
Smith joins fellow former Nugget Wilson Chandler in China and even in the same province, although they play for different teams.
Zhejiang Chouzhou is the team that last season had Mike James and Josh Boone last season.
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