Former first-round pick and serviceable big man Terrence Jones will play in the Chinese Basketball Association rather than in the NBA.
Jones spoke with Oliver Maroney about his decision to play overseas (via Uproxx):
“I wanted to challenge myself and experience a new culture. The CBA is growing and lots of guys go over there and have success. So I know there is a lot of opportunity in China and I just have to go out there with an open mind and be ready to contribute.”
The former first-round pick signed a $2 million deal to play in China. Had he stayed in the NBA and signed a minimum deal, Jones would have made $1.7 million next season. The Hornets reportedly had shown interest in the big man.
In the aforementioned interview, Jones made it clear he is interested in an eventual NBA return:
“This is my last opportunity to prove to my family, my city and myself that I deserve where I dream to be. I want to be a champion in the NBA, I want to win a lot of games and I want the opportunity to have the best job in my world, that’s playing in the NBA.”
It’s now becoming more common for players to have a higher contract offer to play abroad than in the United States.
For comparison, Brandon Jennings recently accepted a one-year deal worth $1.5 million to play in China. Jordan Crawford, who was dominant in the CBA, returned to the league on a deal worth $1.7 million.
Crawford actually made more while playing overseas with a contract of reportedly $2 million.
Last season, the Qingdao Double Star Eagles roster included Jerrelle Benimon who played for the Bulls during summer league in Las Vegas.
We wrote about some of the other lucrative Chinese deals for former NBA players here.