J.R. Smith's Zhejiang Golden Bulls have been mathematically eliminated from the CBA playoff race, according to Jon Pastuszek of NiuBBall.com (via Twitter). This is big news for Smith and teams hoping to sign him, since it means he can be cleared to return to the NBA within a week or two.
The Chinese regular season ends on February 15th, with the postseason scheduled to end as late as March 30th. Players who signed contracts in China are obligated to play until the end of their teams' respective seasons, so Aaron Brooks, Wilson Chandler, and Patrick Mills, who all saw their clubs clinch playoff spots, won't return to America until at least March (Twitter link).
Smith was named a CBA All-Star, so it's not clear whether he'll be required to play in the league's All-Star Game on February 19th before returning to the States. Either way, he figures to be cleared by FIBA to sign with an NBA team well before the end of the month. I looked at a few possible fits for him earlier this week.