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.
Nothing is ever easy with Rashad McCants.
After spending last season outside the NBA looking in, McCants signed a non-guaranteed contract with Dallas late in the preseason, and was cut almost immediately after. From a media perspective, the Mavericks’ intentions seemed rather obvious. However, McCants reportedly was told he would have a chance to make the team, and that never happened. Dallas, and GM Donnie Nelson, had other plans.
Regardless of who was told what, the Mavs’ signing and dismissal of McCants was a strategic move to procure the guard’s D-League rights for the Mav-affiliated Texas Legends, which are co-owned by Nelson. But for a time, it looked like the Mavs and Legends may have miscalculated. If McCants really was as incensed as his agent’s comments would suggest, then perhaps the red tape that prevented McCants from being assigned to any other D-League would be ripped to pieces in the name of hurt feelings and miscommunication.
That doesn’t appear to be the case, as McCants was named to the Legends’ 15-man training camp roster. However, that inclusion doesn’t technically mean anything; Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported that according to Percy Miller (one of McCants’ personal advisers), McCants intends to fully pursue several leads on NBA jobs before reporting to Legends camp. McCants may be a Texas Legend yet, but only if the team is willing to wait for him.
If when all is said and done McCants is willing to play for the Legends, he’s a no-brainer to make the team, and may not be long for the D-League world at all. McCants is an NBA-caliber player, and would undoubtedly be a focal point of Nancy Lieberman’s offense. That said, there’s still plenty of time left before the D-League season begins for things to turn sour. McCants’ career has had too many strange happenings for us to simply assume that his inclusion on the roster makes this a done deal. It’s likely that McCants will be a Legend next season based on his current inclusion, but stay frosty.
Dallas is a looking for a guy to maybe be an insurance policy on a team built to win now.
Rashad McCants maybe can help there, he is a guy who can put up points. Not terribly efficiently, and he zones out on defense, plus he’s had run ins with coaches. But he can score.
Because of that the Mavericks are going to give him a look, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The former North Carolina star played four years in the Association but was not in the league last year, plus he missed out on an invite to the Cavaliers Summer League team due to an illness with his mother. There were plenty around the NBA that saw that as just more of the same with McCants, whether or not that is fair in this case. Still he got workouts with a number of teams, including the Celtics, but no camp invites up until now.
He may not stick, guys brought into camp this late rarely do. Plus Dallas is already deep on the wing — Roddy Beaubois is the man once he gets healthy, but there also is Caron Butler, Dominique Jones, Jason Terry and DeShawn Stevenson. The last couple spots on the roster are expected to go to Brian Cardinal and Steve Novak.
But McCants is getting another chance, getting his foot back in a door to the NBA that had been closed. Maybe he can earn a spot on the Texas Legends, the Mavericks D-League team. At least he’s something, a chance.