Former NBA first-round pick T.J. Leaf has reached a deal to play in the Chinese Basketball Association, reports Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). It’s unclear which team Leaf is joining.
The 18th overall pick in 2017 out of UCLA, Leaf spent his first three NBA seasons with the Pacers, but never developed into a reliable rotation player. He averaged 3.3 PPG and 1.9 RPG on .491/.341/.551 shooting in 139 games (8.7 MPG) during his time in Indiana.
Leaf was traded from the Pacers to the Thunder in the 2020 offseason and was subsequently waived by Oklahoma City. He caught on with the Trail Blazers this past April and finished the 2020/21 season on a two-way contract with Portland, logging limited minutes in seven regular season games and three playoff contests.
Leaf is still just 24 years old, so he could get another shot in the NBA down the line if he plays well overseas.