There will be some drastic differences in the Chinese Basketball Association for the upcoming season, but one thing that will stay the same is Jimmer Fredette wearing a Shanghai Sharks jersey.
Fredette confirmed the news of Twitter early Monday morning that he has signed with the Sharks for two seasons.
It’s a deal reported to be worth $1.8 million per year.
Shanghai is a place where Fredette had great success a year ago as he took home the International MVP while averaging 37.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.6 steals in 41 games.
While Fredette will be the focal point of the offense for the Sharks once again, some of his running mates will be different.
Gone is All-Star and second leading scorer Guerschon Yabusele who is expected to suit up for the Boston Celtics. Yabusele was a huge part of the Sharks’ success in 2016-17 as he averaged 20.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals in 29.9 minutes a game.
Filling the large hole left by the departure of Yabusele will be Nick Minnerath who is also a very gifted scorer. Minnerath is coming off a season where he led Russia’s VTB United League in scoring at 23.3 points per game while shooting 50.1 percent from the floor, including 37.3 percent from beyond the arc for Avtodor. He is also very skilled at getting to the free-throw line where he took 5.9 shots a game and converted on 87.7 percent of his attempts.
Like the Sharks, many of the other teams in the league will have some new stars to work into the rotation.
CBA legend Stephon Marbury and Shavlik Randolph are both still in the league, but with a new team after they have joined forces for the Beikong Fly Dragons.
The Guangdong Southern Tigers, Guangzhou Long-Lions, Beijing Ducks, Shenzhen Leopards, Zhejiang Golden Bulls and the Shanxi Brave Dragons also made big changes as they each brought in new imports.
The Southern Tigers added star European league players Edwin Jackson, who played for Estudiantes in Spain, and big man Ioannis Bourousis who averaged 10.7 points and 5.6 in just 19 minutes a games for Greek League champ, Panathinakos.
The Long-Lions also reloaded with former North Carolina star and NBA journeyman Tyler Hansborough along with former Arizona guard Kyle Fogg who played a big role in Spain last season.
The Ducks looked to the NBA to find one of their new members as they grabbed former Nets and Lone Peak High School star Justin Hamilton to control the paint instead of Carlos Boozer. Their replacement for the departed Stephon Marbury in the backcourt is deadly outside shooter Aaron Jackson who has been a key piece for CSKA Moscow for the last five seasons.
The Leopards also looked to Russia to add their next go-to guy as they landed former Kansas guard Keith Langford who averaged 21.8 points and 3.7 assists in EuroLeague playing for Unics.
The Golden Bulls looked to EuroLeague as well to find their next big name as they secured former Maccabi Tel-Aviv scorer, Sonny Weems. Weems should be a familiar name having spent four seasons in the NBA, including the 2010-11 campaign with the Toronto Raptors where he averaged 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 59 games.
The Brave Dragons have also been active in free agency as they added longtime NBA big man Luis Scola. Scola has played for five team over his decade-long NBA career where he averaged 12 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 743 games.
Another name who could also end up in Shanxi is Ty Lawson who has averaged 12.7 points, 6.0 assists and 1.2 steals over 551 games in eight NBA seasons.
While there are still plenty of moves left to make, the CBA looks to be much stronger at the top with so many talented players joining the league along with the return of Fredette.
It will also mean plenty of competition for playoff spots, All-Star game selections and post season awards. But it will be competition that Fredette will be willing to face head-on.