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What former NBA players could end up playing in Taiwan after Dwight Howard?

Surprisingly, no NBA team was willing to take a chance on Howard, but who are the other players who are thinking about Taiwan as their option.

Dwight Howard firmó este años por Los Ángeles Lakers de la NBA
Ethan MillerAFP

Taiwan is an emerging alternative for NBA players looking to resume (or restore) their careers in Asia. Dwight Howard signed this month for a documented seven figures contract with the Taoyuan Leopards.

The NBA’s level of play is undoubtedly higher than the T1 league (Taiwanese men’s professional basketball league), so this is a good chance for experienced players to thrive and possibly finish their fruitful careers on a solid note.

NBA news:

Possible candidates

Carmelo Anthony

The unemployed future Hall-of-Famer, Carmelo Anthony is in a similar situation. After spending last season on a limited veteran contract at Los Angeles Lakers, Melo found himself contractless at the beginning of this season. He had already started thinking about retirement; in a way, it would be a dishonorable career stop if that was the reason for quitting, which makes it quite heartbreaking.

Stroke of luck and, according to Tainan TSG GhostHawks head coach Liu Meng-chu asked the team=board to bring the 10-time NBA All-Star to Southeast Asia to finalize his adorning basketball career. Although Anthony has yet to respond to the offer, the negotiations between his camp and the TSG GhostHawks’ has been progressing.

Isaiah Thomas & Enes Kanter

Marc Stein reports that both Enes Freedom and Isaiah Thomas could make their way to Asia this year:

“Keep an eye on Taiwan as an emerging option for NBA players looking to continue (or revive) their careers in Asia. Other teams there will inevitably try to counter with their marquee signings as an alternative for players who don’t want to play in China. Enes Freedom and Isaiah Thomas, I’m told, are targets for Taiwanese clubs. ”

If this is true, it will be a perfect opportunity for these two free agents.

The 5-foot-9-inch point guard Isaiah Thomas was traded to Boston in 2015 after playing for the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns, where he led the Celtics to the first seed of the Eastern Conference and finished fifth in MVP voting in the 2016-2017 season. After being released from the Celtics in 2018, he moved around on long-term and short-term contracts between Cavaliers, Lakers, Nuggets, Wizards, Mavericks, and Hornets with field trips to the G League’s Grand Rapids Gold. The two-time all-star player always performed well when he was given a chance. People tend to forget his talent, and the Taiwanese league could be a safe space for him to show his capabilities and that he is an NBA-worthy player.

With Enes Kanter Freedom, the situation is very similar to Thomas’s. Born in Switzerland to Turkish parents, he was raised in Turkey and moved to the United States as a teenager. The Utah Jazz selected Freedom as the third overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft. The Turkish player was criticized for his open political stands, and Enes Freedom has been outspoken about his inability to sign with an NBA team because of that. He believes he’s not getting another opportunity because of his controversial beliefs. It’s improbable that we’ll ever see him playing in the NBA again.

Knowing his standpoint in China, his leaving for Taiwan and playing basketball there will be a logical move in his career. He wants to use his basketball fame to raise awareness on some severe political subjects, human rights activism, and his fight against totalitarian regimes and companies that use inhuman ways to increase profits and influence.


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