Rashad McCants' Deal With Chinese Team Falls Through, Shaky Career Continues
McCants sat out the entire 2009-10 basketball season, an interesting career move for a player that was selected with the 14th overall pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves just four seasons earlier, and then further complicated his NBA career by missing (or messing up, depending which side you're on) an opportunity to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers this past summer in the Vegas Summer League.
The talented scorer was then given another opportunity to again earn his way onto an NBA roster, though, when the Dallas Mavericks signed him this preseason to secure his rights for their D-League affiliate Texas Legends. McCants was miffed that he didn't get a fair shake with the Mavericks -- in his eyes -- however, and instead missed the Legends' entire training camp and first three games before apparently exhausting his other options and reporting to Frisco, Texas, to begin the next step in his path back to the NBA.
With the Legends, McCants looked good on the court and, perhaps just as important, attempted to do the right things off of the court -- even going as far as announcing plans to donate his entire $25,500 salary to charity. Just three games into the season, however, McCants' agent, E. Lindsey Maxwell, told FanHouse that his client had received an offer to play in China (which would necessitate a $30,000 buyout of his D-League contract) and that they hoped to have the deal finalized later Thursday.
The deal wasn't finalized, however, as Chinese basketball blog NiuBBall reports that the Chinese team McCants had planned to sign with, Liaoning Panpan, instead opted to sign Donta Smith, a second round pick by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2004 NBA Draft who had played the previous two seasons in the league and was already in the country. NiuBBall also reported that Liaoning Panpan was the last team in the league to have not signed its full allotment of import players, leaving McCants with no other options in China.
One would typically think that with the deal in China falling through, McCants would stick it out with the Legends, yet he was left off the box score entirely for the team's game Saturday night against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants and did not travel with the team. ESPN's Marc Stein reported earlier in the week that McCants left the Legends on Wednesday to return to his Southern California home and apparently has yet to report back to the team.
Maxwell, in an e-mail to FanHouse Saturday, declined comment due to a request by his client and gave no indication if he would return to the D-League or continue to pursue better offers.
Whatever the next step in McCants' already shaky career, it best be the right one as his herky-jerky habits have seemingly led to NBA general managers being a bit wary of him already and the will-he-or-won't-he affair that's gone on over the past two months in the D-League can't be helping.