Hi Teammates! The Letter of Clearance is what the player needs from his former team before he can be registered by the new team. The former team says everything is ok and they accept the transfer. Normally this is not a problem except if a player just leaves without things being settled such as unpaid bills or disappears without telling the team of his/her team. In such a situation, the team has the right to sue the player for the remaining amount of the contract but they still can not hold onto the Letter of Clearance indefinitely. 

After 7-10 days, FIBA will automatically release the player. It is rather rare that a team holds the clearance very long because it is counterproductive. If the team does take the player to court, but the player has no job because there are issues with the release, the team gets no money from the player if they win in court.

That being said, the former team can still make the transfer to the new team difficult by not releasing the player in a timely fashion. Especially if the player is going to a new team during the season, the new team probably needs the player in uniform as quickly as possible. Any delay in that could scare a team off. Teams do not like to deal with drama and to avoid it, they will sometimes just look for a new player without baggage.

The whole process could drag out up to 2-3 weeks with all the paperwork, visa issues, etc. It is in the best interest of the player to have a good and clear cut with the former team without anything delaying the process.

In any case, don’t burn bridges. You never know if or when you may need your former team. If there are issues with your team and you would like to leave, discuss your options with your agent. If you have no agent, speak with the responsible people in the team and find a solution that works for both parties. The absolute worst thing you can do is just to leave without notice. It is not professional, and word will get out that you did not handle things as they should have been.

An open line of communication and professionalism will help reduce stress.