Free agent big man T.J. Leaf has reached an agreement on a deal with the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sportando. Leaf will return to China for the second straight season, as he played for the Guangzhou Loong Lions last year.
Leaf has played four NBA seasons. His first three came with the Pacers from 2017-20, while his last stint was with the Blazers in 2020/21. He has appeared in a total of 146 NBA games after being drafted with the No. 18 pick in 2017.
Last season, Leaf averaged 25.0 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals per game in China. He also shot 57% from the floor and 30% from deep. At 6’10, the UCLA product has demonstrated potential offensively and on the glass, but he struggled to find a consistent role in the NBA. He turned 25 years old in April.
There’s still plenty of time for Leaf to pursue an NBA comeback if he so chooses, but for now, expect him to once again be one of the top bigs in China this season.