Metta World Peace, it turns out, is a man of his word — the 34-year-old forward really isn't retired. But he's also not going to play professional basketball in the NBA next season. Or, at least, he won't be at the start of the season.

After tweeting early Tuesday morning that he "met with three teams" about playing in China, that a "deal [was] done" and that he "just [had] to sign now," the former Ron Artest has reportedly reached an agreement to join the Sichuan Blue Whales of the Chinese Basketball Association, as first reported by ESPN New York's Ian Begley and subsequently confirmed by Chinese news outlet Sports Sina (via Sportando).

RealGM's Shams Charania reports that World Peace will receive a one-year deal worth $1.43 million, which is a shade less than what he'd make on a 10-plus-year veteran's minimum deal stateside, but will make him the highest-paid import player in the CBA. World Peace still hopes to land a roster spot with an NBA team once the Chinese pro season wraps up in February, according to Charania.

World Peace's chances of piquing NBA interest would figure to improve dramatically if he can show a capacity to make a consistent impact against younger competition, even in a lesser league. First thing's first, though — he'll have to stay on the floor.