“Hey, at least I’m not on the Kings anymore!”
The Shanghai Sharks have signed former NCAA sensation Jimmer Fredette and Celtics first round pick Guerschon Yabusele for the upcoming CBA seaon.
Over the past few years, the Sharks, aka the New York Knicks of the CBA, have not had much success. For two years straight they have missed the playoffs by only a slim margin, ensuring that they stay stuck in the middle of the pack, the worst place a team can be. Under CBA rules, the teams that finish in the bottom five at the end of the year are allowed to sign three foreign players for the next season instead of the customary two, though one of those three foreigners must be from Asia.
Shanghai hasn’t been bad enough to be awarded that third foreign baller, and its domestic players haven’t been good enough to get them in the playoffs. To remedy this, Sharks owner, Yao Ming, has tried his best to leverage his NBA connections to acquire the best American players available. In recent years, the Sharks have tried out multiple big name players, including Michael Beasley and Gilbert Arenas. However, neither player really worked out, becoming more notorious for their off-court behavior than their on-court excellence.
This year, it seems like management has shifted its strategy somewhat, rather than try to grab the biggest name and headcase left out there — think Lance Stephenson or Josh Smith — they have chosen two lesser known players who may be more likely and willing to fit into the CBA playstyle.
Jimmer Fredette, once one of the biggest college stars imaginable, has had a rather lackluster NBA career thus far. Despite this signature shooting abilities, Jimmer’s lack of athleticism has led him to become a major defensive liability in the NBA, as well as a terrible off-screen shooter, unable to create much space between his defender. However, the less physical and athletic CBA should fit better with the combo guard’s strengths and weakness. Jimmer will also likely have the freedom to have the ball in his hands at all times and thrive as a ball-dominant guard, just like he did at BYU. Could he become the Steph Curry of the CBA? Seems possible!
Meanwhile, 20-year-old Guerschon Yabusele, 6’8” and 250lbs, was selected as the 16th overall pick by the Celtics this past summer. Yabusele was born in France and touted as one of the top international prospects in the 2016 draft. He has shown a great mid-range game and fantastic playmaking skills in the NBA Summer League. He should be a more than welcome addition to the team as Sharks’ biggest problems in the past season came from the wing.
With these new additions, will the Shanghai Sharks finally swallow their rival, the Beijing Ducks, next season? Shanghaiist is optimistic for some Jimmer-mania in China.