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J.R. Smith’s CBA Team Out Of Playoff Race

J.R. Smith's Zhejiang Golden Bulls have been mathematically eliminated from the CBA playoff race, according to Jon Pastuszek of (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.

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One thought on “J.R. Smith’s CBA Team Out Of Playoff Race

  1. jcrinck

    Couldn’t the Nets be a fit for Smith? Assuming he’s more interested in showing off his offense (as he said he wanted to do) than win a championship, the Nets could give him a lot of time at the 2. Plus, he went to St. Benedict’s so playing in Newark would be a homecoming of sorts for him. He might be willing to come home to play on a bad team if it gave him solid minutes and a scoring showcase since it will be a short season for him and help his odds at a nicer FA contract at the end of the year when more teams have more money.

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