As the Chinese Basketball Association remains indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, former NBA players such as Stanford alum Chasson Randle are in limbo, waiting to see if play will resume.
Players also are waiting to receive concrete information on the status of their contracts, which are often worth in excess of several million dollars per season for top players.
Agent Darrell Comer of YouFirst Sports told ESPN that Randle has twice attempted to sign 10-day contracts with NBA teams, but has been unable to resume his NBA career because he can't obtain his FIBA letter of clearance from his club in China, the Tianjin Gold Lions.
Comer told ESPN that since Chasson returned to the United States on Jan. 26, there have only been updates on the virus and nothing from the league about when -- or if -- the season will even resume.
"His payments are currently behind with no date provided of when he will receive salary owed," Comer told ESPN. "He has been offered opportunities to sign 10-day contracts with NBA teams, but Tianjin has denied his FIBA clearance despite the fact that the 10-day contracts will expire before all rumored dates if the China season will resume.
"Chasson is not only being prevented from making income, but also from furthering his career as a NBA player. We are speaking to bring awareness to this unfair issue for Chasson, but also for the other talented players who are back from China and may experience similar issues soon."
ESPN has reached out to the Gold Lions for comment on the situation.
All international basketball transfers are bound by FIBA letter-of-clearance rules, which ensure that players are not under contract simultaneously with two separate teams.
Once Randle signed a 10-day contract in the NBA, a formal request was made in writing to the Chinese Basketball Association, by way of FIBA. In both instances, his club refused to issue clearance, his agent told ESPN, stating that Randle is currently under contract.
Because payments due to Randle as part of his salary are delinquent, he is entitled to make an appeal to FIBA -- a process that takes 7-10 days.
The State Department issued a travel advisory on Feb. 2 advising U.S. citizens not to travel to China after the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency. Airlines around the world have suspended service to mainland China.
Approximately 40 American players -- which include former NBA players Jeremy Lin, Lance Stephenson, Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and others -- are under contract with the 20 teams that make up the Chinese Basketball Association. Most foreign players were sent home over the Lunar New Year holiday in late January, a source told ESPN, with instructions to prepare to return in mid- to late February.
As the outbreak has worsened, teams have unofficially told American players and their representatives to expect the league to be suspended until at least early April -- and possibly canceled altogether -- pending the containment of the disease.
The closest CBA arena to the center of the outbreak in the Wuhan region is in Nanchang, around 350 miles away.
The viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 80,000 people globally, and more than 2,600 deaths worldwide have been attributed to the virus. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it.
As the virus continues to spread, the Italian Basketball Federation has announced that it has suspended games in Serie A, Serie A2 and Serie B this weekend.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.