Zhou Qi Rumors
Crawford played with Zhou in 2014 before returning to the NBA D-League and is perhaps his biggest advocate. “His mid-range is money; he’ll never miss that shot. He blocked a lot on defense, dribbles well, can jump… I honestly thought he was older then because he understood the game. Most Chinese players just want to shoot all the time.”
“Qi should get drafted in the teens, 15-20 in this draft,” an NBA scout said. “I’ve heard the age rumors; sure, it’s a concern. If he is 24 years old, there isn’t much time left to work on his body. Can he add muscle? Is the CBA level good enough to evaluate his NBA talents? If he doesn’t come over now, will he ever?”
Some draftniks say he could be a late-first-round pick. The Boston Celtics — who have eight draft picks, including three first-rounders and the No. 3 selection — brought him in for a workout this week, as did the Memphis Grizzlies. He’ll audition for more NBA teams in the coming weeks, as everyone figures out their plans for the June 23 draft. “I think his basketball English was good enough that it didn’t impede us from doing anything on the court,” Grizzlies vice president of basketball operations John Hollinger said after their workout. “I mean, obviously, we weren’t having detailed discussions about politics and economics or anything. … Very skilled for his size, very long frame, knows how to play.”
In an NBA draft class that will likely have LSU’s Ben Simmons and Duke’s Brandon Ingram as the first two picks and then much uncertainty with the remaining 58, Zhou may draw plenty of intrigue. He stands just over 7-foot-2 in sneakers, has a wingspan just shy of 8 feet and can nearly touch the rim while standing flat-footed. He is a big man with shooting-guard skills, China’s next NBA hope, a 20-year-old who’s already a pro at home and now wants to get on the game’s biggest stage.