A pair of former NBA players, Andrew Nicholson and Russ Smith, have both signed with the Fujian Sturgeons of the Chinese Basketball Association, per a report from Sportando. We relayed yesterday that Nicholson was expected to sign with Fujian.
Nicholson teamed with former NBA veteran Yi Jianlian and Donald Sloan last year for Guangdong Tigers. He posted 22.2 PPG, 8.3 RPG, and 1.6 APG in 46 CBA games. The Tigers went to the CBA semifinals before being eliminated by the Liaoning Flying Leopards.
A former Magic first-round pick (19th overall), Nicholson appeared in 285 total NBA regular season games from 2012 to 2017 with Orlando, Washington, and Brooklyn before heading to China last September.
As for Smith, the former second-round pick (47th overall) by the Pelicans spent last season with the Sturgeons. Smith is arguably best known for his 81-point game last July in the Chinese National Basketball League. Smith appeared in 27 NBA games with the Pelicans and Grizzlies from 2014-16, averaging 2.0 PPG.
5 thoughts on “Andrew Nicholson, Russ Smith Sign With Chinese Team”
Russ Smith was a beast in college, shame some of these guys never pan out.
If he was a beast in college and is now making (at least) $500k to hoop, he’s panned out. And he’s likely making north of the figure in China.
Not sure I’d call 27 games in the NBA for 2 seasons and no action in the last 2 years planning out. He made money bc NOLA signed him to a 3 yr deal without stepping on the court, pretty dang good for a 2nd round pick. Panning out would indicate he had success in the NBA, individually or as a role player, which he had neither. China is where guys go that end up as the 14 or 15th guy on a roster, they flamed out in the NBA after limited success, like Sullinger, or are old in NBA terms. China is a market that is desperate for anyone with a recognizable name. Russ Smith is a recognizable name actually bc of his college ball. In the Euro Leagues they want guys that can ball, they are about winning leagues.
I disagree. Not panning out means (as a beast – as you say – in college is a Miles Simon, Toby Bailey type situation. Not being a star or having an 8-year career is not (imo) the definition of not panning out. I don’t remember anyone referring to Smith as a “cant-miss” nba prospect. He could probly be on an nba roster this season but, at this point, I’d think it’s about dollars and sense for him… he can double in China what his minimum nba salary would be – especially with the team taking care of the taxes.
Again, imo, the bars for Sullinger and a 2nd round Russ Smith are nowhere near parallel, so their versions of “panning out” are much different, as well.