Denver Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler is headed to play in China and he doesn’t appear the least concerned the move will prevent him from playing in the NBA this season if the lockout ends.
Chandler has signed a contract to play with Zhejiang Guangsha of the Chinese Basketball Association. The CBA recently implemented a rule that will not allow NBA players to opt out of their contracts in the middle of the season once the lockout is over, so that means Chandler is obligated to remain for at least a season.
The new rule curbed talk of NBA stars like Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Carmelo Anthony playing in the CBA during the lockout.
“Maybe I'll lose out,” Chandler said to ESPN.com NBA columnist J.A. Adande. “But I think it can be a great experience. I haven't been in any [labor negotiation] meetings. I can't call it. I'm just taking a risk, at the end of the day.”
Chandler <http://espn.go.com/nba/player/_/id/3194/wilson-chandler> , who averaged 12.5 points and five rebounds in 21 games after coming over from the New York Knicks in the Carmelo Anthony trade last season, is a restricted free agent with the Nuggets this season. The Nuggets could have matched any offer to keep him.
Chandler runs the risk of suffering a serious injury playing in the CBA this season, which could make his return to the NBA next season difficult.
“It's a huge concern,” Chandler said. “But as long as I take care of my body, I'll be fine. We've got insurance.”
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