For the second time in the last week, China's Sichuan Blue Whales are set to add a notable ex-NBA player, having signed Hamed Haddadi, according to Mohammad Amin of Asia-Basket.com. Sichuan reportedly reached an agreement with former lottery pick Jonny Flynn as well.
Haddadi, 28, drew interest from the Knicks this summer, though the team ultimately decided to sign Cole Aldrich rather than Haddadi. The Iranian big man was said earlier this month to be weighing offers from NBA teams and Chinese clubs. By heading overseas, Haddadi figures to have more financial security — according to Amin, he'll earn about $1.3MM USD in China.
The Grizzlies and Raptors both included Haddadi in trades prior to the deadline last season, with the five-year veteran ultimately ending up in Phoenix. He finished the year strong, averaging 4.1 PPG and 5.1 RPG in just 13.8 MPG in 17 contests for the Suns. Back in early August, when I examined the remaining free agents with the best rebounding numbers, Haddadi ranked atop the list.
Haddadi's new team, the Sichuan Blue Whales, played in China's National Basketball League last season, but are reportedly set to be promoted to the Chinese Basketball Association for the coming year.