NATURALIZED player Andray Blatche of Gilas Pilipinas signed a one-year deal with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers in the Chinese Basketball League in China.
The 6’11 center Blatche, who now carries a dual passport after becoming a naturalized Filipino in June, was reportedly also negotiating with the Miami Heat after his impressive performance in the 2014 FIBA World Cup in Spain, but a deal didn’t materialize.
Yahoo Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Blatche’s deal is worth $2.5 million and includes an opt-out clause that would allow him to return to the NBA in March.
Blatche, 27, could still play for Gilas anytime next year in any FIBA-sanctioned events.
He averaged 21.2 points per game and 13.2 rebounds for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA World Cup.
Blatche was supposed to play for the Philippines in the ongoing Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, but he was disqualified by the organizer for failing to meet the three-year residency rule. JOSEF T. RAMOS