THURSDAY, 7:50am: Telfair has arrived in China to join Xinjiang, Pick reports (Twitter link), so it appears the deal is done.
MONDAY, 6:48pm: The team Telfair is negotiating with is Xinjiang of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to David Pick of Eurobasket.com (via Twitter), who confirms that the sides are close to agreement.
9:06am: Sebastian Telfair is near a deal with a Chinese team, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The Thunder let go of the point guard Wednesday to keep Ish Smith instead when their hardship exception for a 16th roster spot expired, eating Telfair’s guaranteed minimum salary in the process. The identity of the Chinese team that Telfair’s camp is negotiating with is unclear.
Telfair appeared in 16 games and started one for the Thunder, who signed him to a one-year deal over the summer. He put up 8.4 points and 2.8 assists against 1.1 turnovers in 20.4 minutes per game for the Thunder during his brief stay. The 29-year-old’s scoring average was his best in the NBA since the 2008/09 season, but it wasn’t enough to save his job in Oklahoma City.
The Thunder are on the hook for more than $915K for Telfair this season, but they could be in line to recoup a portion of that through set-off rights, depending on the amount of money in Telfair’s next deal. Set-off rights apply regardless of whether a player signs his next contract in the NBA or another professional league, so they would still be in play if Telfair indeed inks with a Chinese team.