“Although I know I belong in the NBA, I’m excited to announce that I’ll be heading to China this upcoming season,” Booker wrote in a tweet. “The summer didn’t pan out as I hoped, but I assure you that I’ll be back on a NBA floor terrorizing people again soon enough.”
While Booker doesn’t name his new team in his announcement, a report over the weekend indicated that he was nearing a deal with the Shanxi Brave Dragons of the Chinese Basketball Association. Alex Kennedy of HoopsHype confirms (via Twitter) that Booker has finalized a one-year contract with Shanxi. It’ll be worth $2MM, plus incentives, per Kennedy.
Because the CBA season ends before the NBA season does, Booker should have the opportunity to return stateside and catch on with an NBA team before the playoffs begin next April. Ty Lawson did something similar this past year, signing with the Wizards at the end of the season after spending the rest of the year with the Shandong Golden Stars in China.
Booker, 30, began the 2017/18 campaign with the Nets but was traded to Philadelphia in the deal that send Jahlil Okafor and Nik Stauskas to Brooklyn. When the Sixers signed Ersan Ilyasova later in the season, Booker became expendable and was released. After clearing waivers, he signed with Indiana and finished the season with the Pacers. For the year, he averaged 6.3 PPG, 4.7 RPG, and 1.2 APG in 68 total games (17.0 MPG) for three teams.