What the Chinese government — which is what really runs the Chinese Basketball Association — did not want was teams to rent an NBA player during the lockout. So they only allowed their teams to sign NBA free agents and no opt-out clause for when the lockout ended.
But even as seemingly half the Denver Nuggets signed in China — Wilson Chandler, Kenyon Martin and J.R. Smith — there was speculation they would be back when the NBA season eventually started.
Marc Stein at ESPN tweeted this early Monday morning.
PBT talked about this possibility at the time. China has the highest turnover of foreign players of any league in the world, and already this year Earl Clark has been released by his Chinese team. Not only is the basketball different, it’s a huge culture change with the language, food and customs. Last season only a couple of teams in the Chinese league didn’t have player turnover.
The idea that bigger name American players could have a handshake deal to be let go when the lockout ends was something PBT discussed at the time.
Even if they are not, the Chinese season ends in March, which would lead to a second free agent signing period with good players that could change the dynamic of the league heading into the playoffs.