Barely a month after signing for the Sichuan Whales, Jonny Flynn has been cut from the CBA’s newest team.
According to reports in China, the Whales wanted to give doctors a second look at Flynn now that the team’s training camp is underway. Upon further examination, Sichuan became concerned about the point guard’s previous injured hip, a situation that will be familiar to most of the NBA teams Flynn has played for.
Realizing that one of their star players may not last the grueling CBA season, the Whales acted swiftly. Reportedly a final contract was not going to be signed between Flynn and Sichuan until the second, more thorough medical had happened, and having failed it, the American has been forced to pack his bags. Flynn is said to understand the decision and told Chinese media that should he ever return to China to play, the Whales would be his preferred team.
Sichuan has been under pressure to make a splash in its debut season in the league. Indeed, the Whales clearly wanted to sort out their overseas recruitment well in advance of training camp, so that the new team could jell in time for the beginning of the CBA next month.
Veteran Lv Xiaoming, who was brought in presumably to act as Flynn’s back up, will take over as the team’s primary ball-handler. However, the Sharks also need to find an overseas player to fill the remaining roster spot.
Currently, there are a number of solid replacements available to the Whales, but the team will want to bring him to camp quickly. Moreover, the remaining top-tier guards are all experienced CBA players who will have many suitors within the league, further reducing the Whales’ bargaining power.
Among the probable targets will be Josh Akognon (29 PPG in the CBA last year), Quincy Douby, who broke the CBA single-game scoring record with a haul of 75 points and Pooh Jeter, who averaged 24.9 PPG last year and has been a recent CBA All-Star. Lester Hudson, one of the league’s most bankable scorers during the last three seasons, will also be on the radar should he be released from the Utah Jazz training squad.
According to Sichuan’s GM, there is no clear target, but a fresh assessment of the free agent market is already underway.