Free agent center Denzel Bowles is closing in on a deal with the Jilin Northeast Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, Shams Charania of RealGM reports (Twitter link). This continues what has become a suddenly robust Asian market for free agents, with Andray Blatche and Jordan Crawford recently inking deals with the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.
The 6’10″ Bowles is familiar with Jilin, having played for the Tigers last season, averaging 26.0 PPG and 8.6 RPG in 32.5 MPG in 34 appearances. He played for the Nuggets in this year’s NBA summer league, logging 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds in 17.7 minutes per contest.
Bowles had recently worked out for the Pistons, and Charania also reports that Detroit invited him to training camp. But as we saw with Blatche, who received a one-year, $2.5MM deal, playing five months overseas and then trying to latch onto an NBA team in March can be much more financially rewarding than competing for a roster spot with little-to-no guaranteed money to bank on. Bowles had also reportedly displayed his wares for the Spurs, but likely wasn’t offered a deal or a camp invite.