The Chinese Basketball Association season is up in the air because of the Coronavirus outbreak. The season is postponed and, while there is talk of restarting it on April 1, there are more questions than answers about that plan right now.
Lance Stephenson was in China playing for the Liaoning Flying Leopards and — as many American scorers can do against the soft defenses in the CBA — put up impressive numbers. Stephenson is hoping to use that as a springboard back to the NBA, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
Yahoo Sources: Free agent guard Lance Stephenson seeking return to NBA following season in China where he averaged 26.7 points, 7.4 rebounds and shot 52 percent from field. He’s willing to work out to prove his value.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) February 22, 2020
Will it work for Stephenson? Maybe. It only takes one GM looking for a little scoring punch down the stretch to buy-in.
However, GMs also know the numbers are inflated in China and it doesn’t translate to being able to do the same thing in the NBA. Jimmer Fredette is example 1A. Or, here are the top five scorers in the Chinese league so far this season:
1. Dominique Jones (Jilin Northeast Tigers) 37.8
2. Joe Young (Nanjing Monkey Kings) 35.9
3. Darius Adams (Qingdao Eagles) 34.9
4. Tyler Hansbrough (Sichuan Blue Whales) 32.3
5. Jonathan Gibson (Jiangsu Dragons) 31.2
All of those guys, and a lot more, would like to use China as a springboard back to the NBA. That, however, is proving to be a long leap.