The NBA champions Dallas Mavericks signed Chinese forward Yi Jianlian on a one-year contract on Friday and assigned him to their developmental league affiliate the Texas Legends.
In an article on their website, the Legends said Yi will become the first NBA veteran to undergo his rehabilitation from injury in the D-League.
Yi, who had been in Dallas for several days and attended Mavericks home games as the deal was pending, said in an interview with NBA.com that he hoped to regain full fitness and eventually join Dallas.
"I know I can contribute to the team," he said. "I am very excited to be back on the court. I joined a good team this season, with so many talented players, and that definitely will help me to improve myself. I wish the team will have a wonderful season. I have a lot of confidence in it."
Coach Rick Carlisle said that he did not know how long it would be before Yi joins the Mavericks.
Yi will be coached at the Legends by Del Harris, who guided China's 2004 Olympic squad to an eighth-place showing in Athens.
The 24-year-old became a free agent after helping China qualify for a berth the 2012 London Olympics last year.
He averaged 16.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in three Chinese league games but was hurt after a teammate fell on him during a game.
In four NBA seasons with Milwaukee, New Jersey and Washington, Yi has averaged 8.5 points and 5.3 rebounds in 24 minutes of playing time per game. Last season, he averaged 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds for Washington.