SI Wire

NBA Players Who Signed In China May Not Be Able To Return Until March

Chinese teams who contracted NBA players reportedly do not plan to let them out of their contracts now that the NBA labor dispute has been settled, according to a tweet from Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.

Players such as Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith, and Kenyon Martin signed agreements with their teams stating that they would have to play in China through March. Wojnarowski reports that the players who signed such agreements will likely not receive releases from their Chinese clubs, and without releases, they will not be able to sign NBA contracts. The NBA, a member of FIBA, is expected to abide by the organizations international contract rules.

“They can play, get paid (in China), and return to the NBA in March. Or they can not get paid, and return to NBA (SIC) in March,” an official told Yahoo! Sports.

The NBA and the NBA Players Association came to terms on collective bargaining agreement over the Thanksgiving holiday. In the weeks prior to the agreement, it seemed very unlikely that the two side would be able to reach a consensus after the NBPA chose to decertify their union and filed anti-trust suits against the league. As a result, several players signed overseas contracts thinking there would be no NBA season.