Possible Chinese Buyout Loophole

There follows a long-ass series of Marc Stein tweets, beginning with this:

Newsy wrinkle in union memo to players w/all deal points: NBA teams will be allowed to pay $500,000 to buy players out of deals in China


Chinese teams not allowed to release NBA players until season over. But new deal lets NBA teams offer $500,000 to try to change their minds

Apparently, it's not quite that easy...

Chinese teams have been threatened w/serious sanctions for releasing likes of Wilson Chandler or J.R. Smith to let them go home early, BUT...


But rumbles persist in Chinese hoop circles that W. Chandler and J.R. Smith could be released anyway if their teams get serious money back

he says here that "serious money" means "players refunding their salaries and NBA buyout".

Now, I'm assuming if (a)teams have to pay $500,000, (b) the player has to refund salary (and if it's their whole salary, they might want part of it back from their NBA club) and then you start actually negotiating contracts, the Bulls and other capped-out teams will not be in the running. I'm only assuming the extra expenses will count against the cap, but even if they don't, J.R. and Wilson have the potential to make more than the MLE.

I'm just wondering how this affects the SG market in general. If the Nuggets want to buy Chandler out, this theoretically decreases their need to match an offer for Afflalo and lowers his price (not to Bulls levels obviously, but there could be a trickle-down effect or it could put him in range of a sign-and-trade). What if the Nuggets don't want to buy out Chandler, but another team is willing to go through the hassle to sign him to an offer sheet? Is this possible? Could the hassle for Chandler or the headcase factor for Smith (possibly mitigated in a good locker room like the Bulls') drop asking prices into MLE range?

If you think Afflalo, JRich and Crawford are the best SGs on the market regardless, then this doesn't have as big of an impact, but it still has some - Chandler and Crawford don't exactly have identical games, for example, so a current suitor for Crawford (or JRich, or whatever) might find that Chandler is a better fit. One way or another, more guys on the market makes everybody less desperate and asking prices drop.

If it were possible to get Chandler for the mid-level, minus whatever expenses were involved, I would vote for pulling the trigger on the Crawford-Brewer trade and then locking him up. Probably a huge stretch, but he's young and would be able to develop with the team, wouldn't demand big minutes and has a pretty intriguing game IMO.


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