The Chinese Basketball Association will change the rules governing the use of foreign players, effective as of 2020-21, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando reports. The rules will limit the amount of time foreign-born players can spend on the court.
According to Carchia, unless a team was one of the four-worst squads the previous season, only one foreign-born player will be permitted on the court at one time. Those basement dwelling four teams can play two at the same time but only during the first three quarters of the contest.
Previously teams could play two foreign-born players at the same time, except in the fourth quarter when only one was permitted.
It’s unclear if the changes have anything to do with the ongoing conflict between China and the NBA but it’s important to note that the CBA has made efforts in the past to promote the use of local players, long before Daryl Morey ever sent out his landscape-altering tweet.
The rule changes could have an impact on fringe NBA players who seek short-term employment in the Chinese league. There’s no shortage of players who revitalized their career – or at least their brand – playing in the CBA.
This offseason, for example, we saw California-born Jeremy Lin ink a contract with the Beijing Ducks. The 31-year-old recently dropped 40 points in his preseason debut in the league and the potential impact he could have on the franchise is profound.
Rules limiting foreign assistance, however, prevent teams from stacking their squad with NBA ringers.
Lin joins former NBA players Ekpe Udoh and Justin Hamilton on the Beijing roster and while two of them will be eligible to be listed as active for a given game, only one will be allowed to play at a time.