Kenyon Martin Leaving China; Will Eventually Return to the NBA

by December 21, 2011

After struggling to contribute, soon-to-be 34-year old Kenyon Martin has been freed from his contract in China, and will become an unrestricted NBA free agent. Well, eventually: “Kenyon Martin has severed ties with the Xinjiang Guanghui Flying Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, but will be unable to secure a FIBA letter of clearance to return to the NBA until the team’s season ends sometime in February or March, sources told Yahoo! Sports. The regular season runs through mid-February for Xinjiang, but the Flying Tigers expect to qualify for the playoffs, which could last well into March … Martin’s departure will assuredly set a precedent for some of the other American players – J.R. Smith and Wilson Chandler – pushing to leave China for the chance to rejoin the NBA. Aaron Brooks is content to finish out his season with Guandong and likely re-sign with the Phoenix Suns in March. Brooks is a restricted free agent. Chinese Basketball Association rules and player contracts had stipulated that NBA free agents could sign to play in China, but wouldn’t be granted the necessary FIBA letter of clearance needed to return to the NBA until the China season had been completed.”