Former Trail Blazers first-round draft pick Sebastian Telfair has signed a contract to play for the Fujian SBS Xunxing Sturgeons, a member of the Chinese Basketball Assocation (CBA), according to international basketball reporter, David Pick. The 31-year-old last played in the NBA for the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2014-15 season.
Hearing veteran guard Sebastian Telfair agreed on one-month deal in China as replacement for wounded Dwight Buycks.— David Pick (@IAmDPick) November 16, 2016
According to W. Dawkins of Blacktop TV, Telfair was originally set to play in Italy this season, before negotiations fell through.
“Telfair was set to sign with Auxilium Torino in Italy’s Serie A league over the summer but the deal fell through because he wanted an opt-out clause that would have allowed him to sign in China, but Torino would not give him the option.”
Telfair was drafted No. 13 overall by the Trail Blazers in the 2004 NBA Draft, directly out of Brooklyn’s Lincoln High School. He spent two seasons in Portland, before being shipped out to Boston in a 2006 draft day trade for a package that included the draft rights to Randy Foye. Foye would subsequently be traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves for the draft rights to Brandon Roy, whose arrival signified the end of the Jail Blazers era. Telfair averaged 8.1 points and 3.5 assists in 136 games for Portland, including 56 starts over his two seasons.
He is no stranger to China, previously playing for the CBA’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers during the 2014-15 season, after his early season release from the Thunder. He averaged 19.9 points and 4.5 assists for the Flying Tigers that season.
China is far from a basketball Siberia, with players like Michael Beasley and Telfair’s cousin Stephon Marbury revitalizing their careers in the CBA. A number of NBA players played for teams in the CBA during the 2011 lockout. At just 31 years old, an NBA comeback isn’t outside the realm of possibility for Telfair, provided he can perform at a high level overseas.