Looks like NBA Champion Tyson Chandler and several other players are about to be in a tough spot.
The Chinese Basketball Association is showing no inclination to let unhappy NBA players out of their contracts for the 2011-12 season, and will likely mandate they not receive clearance letters to return to the NBA until the Chinese season ends in March, sources told Yahoo! Sports.
Wilson Chandler(notes), Kenyon Martin(notes), J.R. Smith(notes) and Aaron Brooks(notes) are the four top NBA players under contract in China, and several sources involved in those contract entanglements said escape clauses won’t be allowed with the impending end of the NBA lockout.
The Chinese Basketball Association passed a rule that its teams could sign only NBA free agents during the lockout, and it was made clear to those players they would have to play the full season to be given FIBA clearance letters to sign contracts with NBA teams.
Smith has had multiple clashes with his team, and some Chinese officials fear players becoming obstinate and purposely missing practices and games once they realize they’ll be held to their contracts.
Team officials have prepared for the possibility some players could try to force their way out of deals, but their contracts give teams the latitude to fine and suspend players without pay. Chinese teams invested heavily when they signed NBA players, also providing hotel suites, personal drivers and chefs to make the players more comfortable.
“They can play, get paid [in China] and return to the NBA in March,” one Chinese team official said. “Or they can not get paid, and return to the NBA in March.”
Should these players be allowed to break their contracts to return to the NBA or should they be forced to fulfill the commitments they made??