J.R. Smith will not make quite the $6.5 million he made last season with the Denver Nuggets. The free-spirited swingman's contract in China will, however, make him the highest-paid player in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Smith signed a $3 million contract with the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls, according to Jon Pastuszek at NiuBBall. Per league rules, Smith's deal does not include an opt-out clause that would allow him to return to the NBA when the lockout ends.
For those wondering, this Zhejiang isn't the same Zhejiang that early netted fellow NBA free agents Wilson Chandler and Earl Clark. Each CBA team is only allowed two imports and with Zhejiang Guangsha already having Chandler and Clark, Smith will play for their rival, Zhejiang Chouzhou, in the same province.
Smith had been linked with a different CBA team earlier, Shanxi, but Pastuszek reports that "after having serious negotiations with Smith over the last week, the two sides simply walked away from each other after a final deal could not be a agreed upon."
Considering Smith was still able to sign the richest basketball contract in CBA history, it seems all's well that ends well -- unless, of course, the lockout never ends.