This is probably the deal that kills Yao going to the Rockets, and most like stops Jay Williams from going to the Bulls. The Chinese are idiots.
Chinese Pull Plug on Ming, Rockets
It has been a long time coming. The Chinese have a history of being extremely difficult to deal with - just ask Mark Cuban or Donnie Nelson. Both Mavs officials have been outspoken about the many issues they have faced in dealing with China in relations with Wang Zhizhi. It was Cuban who prophetically told the Rockets that dealings with the Chinese are never over or uncomplicated. His words rang true on Sunday night, when the Chinese told the NBA they would not allow Yao Ming to leave the country unless the league would sign a legal document guaranteeing that Ming would not miss any international tournaments, even if they interfere with the Rockets' schedule.
This is the final nail in Ming's NBA coffin. The Rockets made it clear that they would only draft Ming if they could get a guarantee that he would not miss any games. Surprisingly, the Chinese agreed to that stipulation. Now they are going back on their word, seeking a letter from the NBA that would negotiate the earlier letter. Wang Zhizhi missed 18 games for the Mavericks last season because he had to participate in a Chinese international tournament, which has apparently led to Zhizhi's decision to defect this summer. The Chinese are not willing to risk a Ming defection, so they are making it impossible for the Rockets to agree to draft him.
The big loser in this scenario is Yao Ming. The Rockets will be better off making a deal for the #1 pick, which will likely go to the Clippers so they can draft Duke's Jay Williams. Yao Ming was destined to be the biggest bust in draft history, given that the player who dominated him in China was little more than a role player in Dallas last season. China's little games just made it less appealing to deal with them in the Ming sweepstakes. The Rockets continued, undaunted, until the Chinese finally made the one request that would break the deal.
Yao Ming stands to lose millions, and the Chinese can forget about future relations with the NBA. The Rockets have made it clear that they will not take a player who cannot participate in 100% of their games. The NBA has taken the "hands off" stance, saying this is between the Rockets and China. China is appealing to the NBA, knowing they will do nothing. This way the Chinese can say it was a failure on the part of the NBA to offer certain guarantees that cost Yao Ming his NBA dream. The truth is known, though. The apparent defection of Wang Zhizhi killed this deal, just as we predicted it would. The Chinese got cold feet. The Rockets, meanwhile, have been saved from themselves. Ming is a bust. Let him stay in China.