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Report: FIBA clears Kenyon Martin to play in NBA now

Feb 2, 2012, 3:49 PM EDT

Kenyon Martin Getty Images

Kenyon Martin has making the rounds talking to teams — the Clippers, the Heat and more teams than we realized (more on that below) — but we thought he couldn’t play until Feb. 15 at the earliest. That’s because when he left the Chinese Basketball Association after signing there during the lockout the contract said he could not leave mid-season. When he left mid-season anyway the deal was he couldn’t sign with another team until the Chinese season ended (two weeks, but if his team made the playoffs it could go another month).

China was not going to grant him a letter of clearance. But FIBA did.

That’s what Adrian Wojnarowski is of Yahoo Sports is reporting on twitter.

After China failed to respond to request for Letter of Clearance for Kenyon Martin, FIBA made surprising decision to grant it, sources say…. Belief was China wouldn’t issue OK to let KMart play in NBA until Chinese season was done; FIBA ruled it OK in last 24 hours, sources say….

Because of FIBA clearance, KMart selection process will move faster, sources say. Scenario: Weekend decision, physical w/ team on Monday.

Martin is a quality big man who can change the title hopes for teams. Where is he going to land? More from Wojnarowski.

Kenyon Martin is on visit to Atlanta today, intrigued w/ significant role he could play w/ Hawks, sources say. Clips, Heat high on list too… Martin’s list of suitors also includes Knicks, Lakers, Spurs. NBA may make a Denver sign-and-trade an unlikely scenario, sources say.


Howard Beck of the New York Time
s says the Knicks interest is modest, which makes sense since they need guards not front court help.

If it is minutes he wants, he might get the most with Atlanta. But if it is a ring, hanging with the Clippers or Heat for a few years seems like it would give him a legitimate chance.

Of course, the big issue is always money and years.

We’ll see what is important to Martin, probably by this weekend.

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