- Chris Broussard, NBA analyst
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Tyson Chandler has decided not to accept an offer to play basketball in China during the NBA lockout.
The Dallas Mavericks free-agent center told ESPN The Magazine that he rejected a lucrative contract offer from the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions.
"I was considering it but I don't think I'm going to do it," Chandler said in a text message. "It was hard to turn down."
Chandler, who will be one of the hottest free agents on the market after helping the Mavericks defeat the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals, said he will probably stay in the United States during the lockout and forgo any other overseas opportunities.
Chandler, 29, is coming off his best season as a pro in which he was credited, most notably by Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, with changing the defensive culture in Dallas after his arrival via trade in the summer of 2010 in what became the first championship run in franchise history.
But in a recent interview with "The Ben and Skin Show" on ESPN Radio in Dallas (103.3 FM), Chandler expressed concern that the league's next collective bargaining agreement might be too restrictive -- especially on teams in luxury-tax territory -- to bring him back.
"With the collective bargaining agreement and some of the things that they're trying to enforce, it would basically prohibit me from coming back," Chandler said in the interview. "It would take it out of my hands -- and the organization's -- because it would almost be pretty much impossible for me to re-sign. I just think that can be the worst thing that can happen."
Chris Broussard covers the NBA for ESPN The Magazine. Information from ESPN.com's Marc Stein was used in this report.