HOUSTON – Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed free agent forward/center Zhou Qi (pronounced Joe Chee). Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“We feel Zhou Qi has the potential to become the best Chinese player since Yao Ming,” said Morey. “We’re excited to have him join the Rockets and will continue to develop his talents with our coaches and training staff.”
Zhou (7-1, 210) was the 43rd overall pick by Houston in the 2016 NBA Draft. He spent the past three seasons playing for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), helping the team win its first championship in 2016-17.
This past season, Zhou averaged 16.0 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 58.6% from the floor. He also ranked second in the CBA in blocks (2.3 bpg) and was named Defensive Player of the Year. Zhou hit 20 3-pointers in 2016-17 after having 10 his first two seasons combined.
The 21-year-old is also a member of the Chinese National Team and competed in the 2016 Olympics. He had a team-high 13 points for Team China in an exhibition game vs. Team USA on Aug. 26, 2016.