Michael Beasley has signed a one-year deal with the Shanghai Sharks of the China Basketball Association, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! reports.
Beasley, the No. 2 pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, had been in training camp with the Memphis Grizzlies. His Memphis contract was non-guaranteed but would have paid him $1.1 million if he made the team.
It’s fair to assume he’ll get paid more than that in China. Wojnarowski described his Shanghai contract as “lucrative.” Emmanuel Mudiay — a top 2015 NBA Draft prospect who decided to play in China instead of spend a mandatory unpaid year in college — got a $US1.2 million deal.
Beasley is perhaps the most well-known player to voluntarily choose China over the NBA.
A bunch of players played in China during the lockout in 2011. Gilbert Arenas famously played in China during his suspension. Over-the-hill veterans like Tracy McGrady and Stephon Marbury played there at the end of their careers.
But Beasley is only 25-years-old and had an NBA deal in hand, although it wasn’t guaranteed. He could have attempted to fight his way onto an NBA roster. While his career has taken a turn in recent years, it’s conceivable that he could still turned things around. He played 15 minutes per game last year with the Heat, and as recently as 2010-11 he was averaging 19 points a night.
Shanghai is the team that discovered Yao Ming, who’s now the owner and president.
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