Wilson Chandler returning from China early?

Mark J. Miller
February 17, 2012

Now that the Zhejiang Lions have made it into the playoffs over in China, the team may be saying goodbye to the Denver Nuggets restricted free agent who helped them get there, Wilson Chandler. ESPN reports that the team's playoff games don't start till next Thursday, but Chandler might not be suiting up for the game and just returning to the States with the team's blessing instead.

The team's management is OK with allowing Chandler "to come back to the NBA as soon as he helped the team clinch a playoff spot," the site notes. However, Chandler "needs the Chinese Basketball Association to issue his FIBA letter of clearance before he can resume his NBA career," the site notes, and it isn't clear just how easy it will be to obtain that.

NO matter what, Chandler is expected to back in the U.S. next week, ESPN reports, though it remained unclear whether he would at least stick around China long enough to be in this weekend's All-Star game or not.

"We prefer to let [Chandler] make the decision," Lions general manager Ye Xiangyu  said, according to ESPN. "If he wants to continue with his duties here, we'll be happy. But if he wants to leave, we will release him, as he might play with a bad mood in the playoff if we keep him compulsively."

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