Report: Clippers in Talks With Chinese Star Zhou Qi

The Clippers may be in talks with the Chinese big man.

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According to a report from Matt Eaton of the South China Morning Post, the LA Clippers have been in talks with Chinese big man Zhou Qi.

Qi previously played for the Houston Rockets in the 2018-19 season, but only played one game throughout the season. In the season prior, he averaged 1.2 points, 1.2 rebounds, 6.9 minutes, in 18 games. 

He hasn’t had too much of a chance to shine in an NBA environment, but he’s done a fantastic job in Australia’s National Basketball League and in the 2022 Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers.

In the tournament, Qi averaged 15 points, 12 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks a game. It’s hard to tell what that would translate in the modern NBA environment. For the Clippers, they’re still desperately in need of a legitimate second-string center after Isaiah Hartenstein received a payday from the New York Knicks. If Qi was a low-risk third-string center, it would be a much safer move for the LA Clippers. However, a backup center would receive legitimate playing time, especially if Ivica Zubac got injured, and that’s something a gamble like Qi may not work out for.

Training camp is a little under two months away, but the LA Clippers have not finalized their roster. There is one two-way spot and one roster spot left to be filled, with a hole at the backup five position.

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