According to a Fox report in Houston, the holdup in the Yao Ming negotiations is a fear that Yao Ming will defect.
Mark Berman of Fox 26 reported Tuesday night that Xin Lancheng, the commissioner of the CBA, is "deeply worried" that the 7-foot-5 center will defect to the United States, given the recent developments with Wang Zhizhi, the Chinese forward for the Mavericks who has refused to return to China despite demands to do so.
Yao and Wang were rivals in the CBA and teammates on the Chinese National Team.
According to the report, Yao met with the commissioner Tuesday in China and gave assurances that he did not plan on defecting, but it has not wiped out his concern.
The Shanghai Sharks, who have a deal in place already with Yao, have urged the CBA to get this done.
Though the Rockets won't state what they will do if they don't get CBA assurances by 6pm tomorrow (the time where David Stern walks up to the podium and says "The Houston Rockets select... "), don't think they will give up on Yao just like that. This is their guy.
"We know we are down to the last few hours before the draft," said Yao's agent John Huizinga. "But I believe we are farther ahead now than any other time in the past."
As for Wang, he states emphatically he doesn't plan on defecting.
"I'm not defecting, and I don't plan to defect," Wang told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "My main goal is to get better so I can help China to achieve the highest standing in the World Championships.
Yet, he doesn't respond to the Red Army's letters, which can't be going over too well.