SEPTEMBER 18: The Chinese Basketball Association has notified Shanxi that Beasley is ineligible to sign in China due to his NBA drug suspension, a source tells Carchia (Twitter link).
SEPTEMBER 17: The Shanxi Loongs are interested in bringing free agent forward Michael Beasley back to China, a source tells Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. According to Carchia, Shanxi would look to part ways with Malcolm Thomas if the club is able to sign Beasley.
This is the second time this offseason we’ve heard about Beasley drawing overseas interest. A report in early August suggested that the 30-year-old had an offer in the range of $5MM on the table from a team in the Chinese Basketball Association. It’s not clear if that team was Shanxi — or if Beasley would still be able to land a payday in that range.
Rather than accepting that reported offer, Beasley reached a tentative agreement to sign with the Pistons in mid-August. However, he never technically finalized that deal. With Detroit now poised to bring in Joe Johnson to fill the final spot on its offseason roster, the former No. 2 overall pick is the odd man out and won’t sign with the club after all, forcing him to resume his search for a new home.
Beasley has had multiple stints in the CBA in the past, playing for Shanghai in 2014/15, Shandong in 2015/16, and Guangdong earlier in 2019. So if he does sign with Shanxi, he’d be returning to a familiar setting.
It’s worth noting that Shams Charania of The Athletic reported last month that the CBA was in the process of implementing a new guideline that would bar a player facing a drug- or violence-related ban or suspension in another league from signing with a CBA team.
Charania cited Tyreke Evans, who has been banned from the NBA for at least two years due to drug violations, as a player who would affected by this rule, but it’s not clear if Beasley – who is facing a five-game NBA suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy – would also be impacted. Presumably, if Shanxi is interested, the rule either hasn’t been made official or wouldn’t specifically apply to a short-term suspension like Beasley’s.