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Max Zhang Not Returning To Golden Bears, Signed Contract With Shanghai Sharks

Jon Pastuszek of NIU Basketball (which covers basketball in China) tipped us off to the news.

Sina is reporting that Zhang has decided to forgo his final two years at Cal to sign a contract with the CBA’s Shanghai Sharks this season.  Zhang, who had also been approached by Xinjiang, Shandong, Zhejiang in recent days, decided ultimately to sign with Shanghai because of the presence of owner Yao Ming and the team’s head coach, Bob Donewald Jr., who is also heads the Chinese national team.

Shanghai will a pay a fee to Zhang’s old club, Liaoning, in order to obtain his rights.

Zhang’s agent, Lu Hao, who also represents Yao Ming, has publicly confirmed the report: "This year he’s definitely staying in China, he won’t be going back to th NCAA because he’ll be playing in the CBA."

According to our sources, he was apparently offered more by Xinjiang, but settled on Shanghai for the above reasons.

We wish Max the best, and are glad that he was able to participate in Cal's Pac-10 title run. We hope he has a long and prosperous career. This leaves us down to only four returning players from last year's squad: Markhuri Sanders-Frison, Jorge Gutierrez, Brandon Smith, and Nigel Carter. EDIT: Notable oversight: Praise be to Bak Bak! Do you smell repeat?