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Zhou Qi’s Chinese basketball trade ends 719-day saga just in time for World Cup

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Zhou Qi’s blockbuster Chinese basketball trade ends a 719-day saga just in time for World Cup

Zhou joins Guangdong from Xinjiang after long-running contract dispute, with Zhao Rui going the other way in swap dealChinese Basketball Association heavily involved in talks, with importance of Olympic qualification proving to be crucialCBA (Chinese Basketball Association)Nicolas AtkinPublished: 1:57pm, 19 Aug, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

The Chinese Basketball Association has helped negotiate a buzzer-beating, blockbuster trade deal for star player Zhou Qi, removing the distraction of the long-running saga surrounding his future just in time for the World Cup and the Asian Games – with Olympic qualification on the line.

It has been 719 days since the 27-year-old former Houston Rockets star last played in the CBA, amid a contract dispute with his club, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.

But in an “earthquake-level” transaction, as one fan put it on Chinese social media, Zhou has joined Guangdong Souther Tigers, with fellow national team star Zhao Rui going the other way to Xinjiang.

“I’m very excited to join Guangdong Hongyuan, which has a profound heritage,” Zhou said in a video posted to social media. “I hope to go all out to hit the championship and play in Hongyuan’s spirit in the new season.”

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