Apr 28, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Tracy McGrady (1) on the court against the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the first round of the 2013 NBA playoffs at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Tracy McGrady likely to sign with Chinese team Sichuan Jinqiang Whale

Although Tracy McGrady formally (I guess) announced his retirement from the NBA late last month, it doesn’t mean his playing days are over apparently.

According to China Daily, McGrady plans to return to the Chinese Basketball Association, assuming the Whale’s are allowed entry into the CBA:

The Sichuan Jinqiang Whale from the minor National Basketball League (NBL) have stayed in close touch with the former NBA superstar, and is “highly likely” to bring him in if the team cracks into the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) next season, Chengdu Business Daily reported on Tuesday, citing sources from the club as well as McGrady’s team.

The latest speculation came after several CBA clubs, including the Qingdao Double Stars, where McGrady played in the 2012-13 season, denied reports they are moving to land the 34-year-old star, whose demand of an annual salary of at least $2 million is believed to scare off potential teams.

But money seems to be of the least concern for the Whale, last year’s NBL champion and the likely team to secure a CBA spot, which is expected to be announced in the next couple of weeks.

If the Whale does ascend to CBA next year, the budgets could rack up to 80 million yuan ($13 million), according to Zhou Shiqiang, the Whale’s boss.

McGrady, who signed on with the San Antontio Spurs late in the season didn’t seem to enjoy riding the bench, so playing in China will allow him to see far greater floor time against much lesser competition.

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