The Houston Rockets had a face-to-face meeting with 2016 second-round pick Zhou Qi for the first time in the United States on Sunday.
He played for the Xinjiang Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association last season, averaged 15.1 points and 8.6 rebounds. He led the CBA in blocks the last two seasons.
Zhou, 7-foot-1, 209 pounds, played for China in the just completed Rio Olympics, where he averaged 5.6 points and shot 56.2 percent from the field.
The Rockets don’t expect him to play for them this upcoming season because he’s contractually obligated to the Flying Tigers through next season. There isn't an out clause in his contract to play in the NBA this season, according to a source.
Zhou, 20, is projected to play as stretch 4 in the NBA. When the Rockets drafted him in June, he was playing for the Chinese national team, and GM Daryl Morey needed newly elected Hall of Famer, and owner of the Flying Tigers, Yao Ming to translate during the phone conversation.