We passed along the report the other day that the agent for Rashad McCants told the Dallas Mavericks and Texas Legends of the D-League that McCants was leaving for the greener — and by that we mean more money — of China
Except, well, you snooze you lose.
Niubball — a great source for Chinese basketball — says Liaoning Panpan (the team that had been negotiating with McCants) was unsure if he would make it to the team’s first game on Sunday and instead has signed Donta Smith to a deal (via Hoopshype). Smith played a full season in China and was in the country already on a tryout with another squad and because of those things he felt like the safer choice for the team.
Teams in China are allowed to sign just two foreign-born players and Smith fills Liaoning Panpan’s quota, they have no room for another foreign player. No team in the league does now this close to the start of the season.
Not sure how long the negotiations and the decision took for McCants because we don’t know when they started talking, but apparently they talked too long for the Chinese team to feel comfortable.
The result is you can expect to see McCants stay in Texas and in the D-League for now.
Rashad McCants apparently wants to get paid.
He was playing with the Texas Legends of the D-League — where the maximum salary is $25,000 a year, which he was going to donate to charity — looking to make it back to the NBA. But his agent informed the Mavericks and Legends that he was leaving to go play in China, according to the Dallas Morning News.
“Rashad has an opportunity to play in China and it looks like he’ll be taking advantage of that opportunity,” (Mavericks GM Donnie) Nelson said. “Although my personal feeling is the D-League is the quickest, most direct path to the NBA, I wish him nothing but the very best. He’s been a true professional and the Legends will retain his rights in the event he elects to return.”
McCants had played pretty well in the D-League by all reports. He was averaging 12.3 points per game.
Two seasons ago, Rashad McCants made $2.6 million, the last year of the rookie deal the former No. 14 pick out of North Carolina had gotten.
Last season he was out of the league completely. Now he is trying to make a comeback, trying to prove he still has NBA game and will not be disruption in the locker room. He’s doing that with the Austin Legends of the D-League, the Dallas Maverick’s affiliate.
The max salary paid in the D-League is $25,000. McCants made $7.4 million in his playing days.
So McCants is donating his salary to Urban Born, a charity helping inner city youth, ESPN reports (via Ball Don’t Lie). McCants has a long history of working closely with Urban Born (and other charities) to help youths in rough circumstances. Things McCants can relate to.
It’s a great gesture. You can be sure some NBA teams took note of it, although that is not why McCants did it.
His first game may be Tuesday night. It is his performance in those games that will ultimately determine if he returns to the NBA.