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Chandler's NBA Return Being Blocked by Chinese Basketball Association?

Quick blurb this afternoon as Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski just tweeted the following:

The China Basketball Association has refused to give Wilson Chandler a letter of clearance to play immediately in NBA, sources tell Yahoo!

No story yet but Woj then tweeted:

Chandler is a restricted free agent, and almost assuredly on his way back to Denver. He could have to wait until mid-March to sign now.


Chandler will file an appeal and a source believes resolution is possible within next week. Still, no one is sure how soon this plays out.

Chandler and team reached deal to let RFA leave after he helped them to playoffs. But league has control of Letter, not individual team.

And finally:

One source in process tells Y! he believes there's a "good chance" an LOC will be obtained in coming week. For now Denver has to wait.

So who knows how this plays out, but as of now, it sounds like Raptors' fans can forget about him being in red and black at least for this year...

...and perhaps for next considering that by that point, Toronto's attention may have moved elsewhere based on who they draft, and any decisions they make around trades at this year's trade deadline.

I'm frankly ok with this because while Chandler would be a big upgrade for the club, this team needs to get as close to the top spot in the draft as possible, and a Chandler signing (via the Raptors freeing up cap space in a trade) coupled with the return of Bargnani, could give the Raps a shot at the eighth playoff spot in the East.

Sound impossible?

Even with only 10 wins at the All-Star break, Toronto is still only five and a half games back of the Boston Celtics for that final playoff spot.