Former Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones signs big-money deal to move to China

The 25-year-old joins the Qingdao Eagles on a US$2m single-season deal

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 11:09am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 August, 2017, 1:59pm

Former New Orleans Pelicans and Milwaukee Bucks forward Terrence Jones has signed a multi-million dollar deal to swap the NBA for the CBA in one of the biggest single-season deals in Chinese basketball history.

The 25-year-old, who once scored a career high 36 points for the Pelicans against a then-champions Cleveland Cavaliers team featuring LeBron James, will play for the Qingdao Eagles in the coming season.

US media reported that Jones had been attracting interest from NBA teams but opted to sign a HK$15.6-million deal with the eastern China side.

“I wanted to challenge myself and experience a new culture,” Jones told “The CBA is growing and lots of guys go over there and have success.

“I know there is a lot of opportunity in China and I just have to go out there with an open mind and be ready to contribute.”

Jones was a first round pick when drafted to the Houston Rockets in 2012 but fell out of favour with the management in 2016.

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He then moved on to the Pelicans where he spent a season. Jones was waived by the Bucks earlier this year after just one month on their roster.

Qingdao have never made the CBA finals. Last season they finished a modest 12th of the 20 sides in the CBA regular season.

They made international headlines in 2012 when they signed NBA star Tracy McGrady on a one-year deal.

Jones will be looking to follow the career path of fellow American Alan Williams, who played for Qingdao during the 2015-16 season and enjoyed a successful period in China before earning a move to the Phoenix Suns.

Williams was signed to a multi-year contract extension with the Suns last week after an impressive debut season with the franchise.