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Gilbert Arenas Next Ex-NBA Star Headed To China

Gilbert Arenas, who will likely be known more for his suspension for having a gun in an NBA locker room than some of this late-game heroics, looks to be set to play his final professional basketball in China.

Arenas, 30, will sign a one-year deal with the Guangdong Southern Tigers, according to Yahoo Sports, the same team that recently signed Tracy McGrady.

With no guaranteed NBA offers, Arenas looked to the Far East. ESPN sources say Arenas also had negotiations with the Yao-Ming=owned Shanghai Sharks before agreeing to sign with Guangdong, where he will team up with Chinese national team star and former Milwaukee Bucks’ lottery pick Yi Jianlian.

Earlier this month, after a similar struggle to secure a guaranteed contract in the NBA, McGrady agreed to join the Qingdao Eagles.

Stephon Marbury, still another former NBA All-Star, has spent the past three seasons in China with the Beijing Ducks and helped Beijing win last season’s Chinese Basketball Association championship with 41 points in the Game 5 clinching win over Guangdong.

Arenas spent the bulk of the offseason working out under longtime NBA trainer Joe Abunassar and also made occasional appearances at the Lakers’ and Clippers’ practice facilities in his native Los Angeles for pickup games.

But after turning 30 in January and playing in only 17 games last season for Memphis, Arenas turned his focus to finding work in China once it became apparent that neither the Lakers nor the Clippers would be offering so much as a training camp invite.

The good news for both Arenas and McGrady, should they decide to attempt to relaunch their respective NBA careers, is that the short Chinese season allows for a return to the NBA in March or April.

In 11 NBA seasons, Arenas averaged 20.7 points, with a season high of 29.3 points per game for Washington in 2005-06. Yet he’s been trying to resurrect his career ever since the infamous gun-play episode in the Wizards’ locker room in December 2009 that ultimately led to a 30-day jail sentence in 2010. He was traded in December 2010 to the Orlando Magic but that didn’t pan out, prompting Orlando to waive Arenas via the league’s amnesty clause on Dec. 9, 2011.

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