Former Houston Rockets' guard Bonzi Wells arrived in China on Friday afternoon to join Shanxi Zhongyu of the Chinese Basketball Association league, the club confirmed on Friday.
The 32-year-old agreed a one-year contract with the club and the details of the contract were not disclosed.
The club manager Zhang Beihai denied a rumour of 80,000 U.S.-dollar salary for the former teammate of Yao Ming, the most famous Chinese basketball player in the NBA, saying Well's salary is around half of the amount.
Wells is expected to replace Donta Smith, who averages 21 points, 5.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 2.5 steals for Shanxi in the past 11 matches, as the CBA allows only two foreign players outside Asia to each team.
Wells averaged 12.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in his 10-year NBA career when he played for the Portland TrailBlazers, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and the Rockets.
He followed the step of his former Rockets' teammate, Kirk Snyder, who signed with the Zhejiang Cyclones this summer, to play at the Chinese league, whose fans are quite acquainted with them as they played along with Yao in Houston two years ago.
The story of Wells to join in a club of CBA started this summer and Zhang said the two sides had agreed the terms of the contract about a month ago.
Zhang said Wells was waiting for an offer from a Spanish club before he decided to sign with Shanxi on Wednesday.
Wells will team up with Olumide Oyedeji, one of the best all-around players in the CBA, to produce the best-ever season with former Seattle SuperSonics coach Bob Weiss.
Shanxi, one of last season's bottome teams, recorded seven wins and four losses to be placed 6th on the standings.
(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2008)