In the wake of Tracy McGrady's announcement last week of retirement from the National Basketball Association (NBA), rumors and speculations of him joining a Chinese team keeps popping up in sports sections.
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's team has been actively reaching out to the Whale, making some phone calls, doing an interview concerning a possible signing after the Whale won the NBL title in July. They sent further information on McGrady to the club last week, according to the club's brass.
"Hopefully we can move McGrady to Sichuan," the newspaper quoted someone from McGrady/s team as saying, adding that the signing price is negotiable.