Hamed Haddadi could be headed to China next season, assuming the NBA lockout continues, instead of the Memphis Grizzlies. If the first Iranian in the NBA decides to make the move to Asia, he’ll apparently be compensated quite well.
Haddadi signed a three-year deal, including a team-option for a fourth season, with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008 worth $4.8 million. If he elects to take his talents to China, NiuBBall reports that he would make $200,000 per month to play with Stephon Marbury’s team in Foshan.
As NiuBBall’s Jon Pastuszek reports, Haddadi signing in China’s CBA would be an interesting experiment in executing loopholes.
CBA rules allow for one Asian import player to be signed by each of the four teams who finished with the worst record the previous season. Adding one is a considerable advantage over the rest of the league. Unlike every team’s two American imports, who are not allowed to play on the court together for more than two quarters per game, Asian imports are not subjected to on-court restrictions. If the 7-3 Haddadi, who is an Iranian citizen, were to sign as an Asian import, he could play unlimited minutes alongside two talented American imports, which would make whatever team he signed onto very formidable next season.
The contract would also have an NBA-out clause in case the lockout ends sooner rather than later, according to Pastuszek, but this move could possibly open the floodgates for others to take their talents to China as well considering the precedent will have been set.
Plus, who wouldn’t be excited to see Marbury and Haddadi will the Foshan Dralions to a championship in China?