Sebastian Telfair To Sign With Chinese Team

9:25pm: Telfair’s deal covers only one season, Wojnarowski confirms.

8:32pm: Sebastian Telfair will sign with the Tianjin Ronggang Gold Lions of the Chinese Basketball Association, agent Andy Miller tells Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link). Several NBA teams were monitoring the 28-year-old point guard prior to camp, and just this morning he appeared to be among the veterans likely to draw interest around the league. Telfair will instead play overseas until at least February, when the Chinese regular season ends, which leaves open the possibility that he winds up back in the NBA before 2013/14 is over.

Telfair also considered playing in Europe, though that option probably wouldn’t have allowed him to become available to NBA teams again so soon. The former lottery pick began last season as the backup point guard with the Suns, but he finished the year third on the depth chart in Toronto after a midseason trade. He averaged 5.6 points and 2.6 assists in 16.6 minutes per game for the season, some of the lowest numbers of his nine-year career.

China has become a popular Plan B for NBA free agents in recent years, and Telfair is one of several players who spent last season in the NBA to reach an agreement with a team in China’s top-flight league this offseason, as our International Player Movement Tracker shows. He’ll join fellow former lottery pick Shelden Williams, who also reached a deal with the Gold Lions this month.

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