Longtime NBA superstar Tracy McGrady is going to continue his basketball career in China. The seven-time All-Star guard will join Qingdao of the Chinese Basketball Association soon, Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld reports.
The report states McGrady will agree to a one-year deal with the club after being unable to find an NBA team willing to give him a guaranteed contract prior to the start of training camp. He can return stateside and join a team once the Chinese season concludes.
McGrady played with the Atlanta Hawks last season, but he looked like a shell of his former dynamic self. He made 52 appearances off the bench, averaging five points and three rebounds in just over 16 minutes per game.
He hasn't been a reliable contributor in the league since the 2008-09 season, when he averaged 15.6 points, five assists and 4.4 rebounds for the Houston Rockets. Since then, the versatility that made him an elite player has disappeared.
His plethora of knee injuries finally caught up to him and have been the main reason for his lack of explosiveness in recent years. He worked out for a couple NBA teams during the summer but clearly didn't impress them enough to earn a contract.
Instead, he'll join Qingdao with hopes the move can jump-start his career. While it was a basketball decision, it doesn't hurt that China gives him a chance to build his personal brand overseas in an increasingly sports-crazy environment.
Several players, including J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks, traveled a similar route last season during the NBA lockout and returned to the league after the CBA season.
If McGrady can have a successful stint with Qingdao, he could set himself up to join a contender down the stretch if he so chooses.
All told, it's a good career move for McGrady.
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