Yang Jing-min announced in a press release yesterday that he would leave the Super Basketball League (SBL) to join China’s Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons, making him the latest in a slew of Taiwanese basketball players to rush across the strait for a better career.
The Taiwan Beer power forward, who took over as the lead scorer for the Brew Crew since the departure of Lin “the Beast” Chih-jeh to China’s Zhejiang Guangsha Lions two years ago, earning a team-high scoring average of 16.3 points to go along with 4.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists per game, is the third player from Taiwan Beer to migrate west after Lin and fellow forward Wu Dai-hao chose the same path.
Even though the complete terms of the contract were not revealed in the press release, Yang’s agent, Louis Chao of Bros Sports Marketing, said his client has received a “nice increase in pay, along with a chance to play against the top talents in Asia” in his move to China.
The unconfirmed figure being passed around among the parties involved is NT$7.6 million (US$256,000) per year, more than tripling Yang’s current annual salary of well under NT$2 million.
The duration of the contract was revealed in the press release as three years, with the Brave Dragons owning the first option to extend it for a fourth year.
“[Yang] is definitely mature enough and skilled enough to take on a tough task, so we all wish him the best,” Taiwan Beer skipper Yen Jia-hua was quoted as saying in the local press yesterday.
His team has lost one player to China in each of the past three seasons to make the Brew Crew the team in the league most affected by the mass exodus.
“Every player has the right to pursue the highest salary they can command on the market,” Yen said, further exposing the huge disparity in player’s pay across the strait.
Yang, who is still in China following the signing of his contract, will return to Taiwan for a short break before joining his new team in the middle of next month for off-site training in the US to help familiarize himself with the team.
He is the sixth player from Taiwan to move to the Chinese Basketball Association, along with Lin, Wu, former Yulon Luxgens players Lee Hsueh-lin and Tseng Wen-ding, and former Pure Youth Construction guard Hong Chih-shang.