Last year, Donatas Motiejunas refused to report to the Houston Rockets after they did not match an offer worth $35 million over four years.
He eventually landed on the New Orleans Pelicans for a prorated share of the NBA’s veteran’s minimum, which Spotrac estimated to be $618,000. While he could have signed a one-year deal worth $1.7 million for next season on the veteran’s minimum, he will instead play in China.
Two weeks ago, publications speculated his deal in China would be worth $1.5 million. However, the new deal could reach up to $3 million on his new team.
Earlier this offseason, the basketball free agent switched agents from Wasserman to Octagon after the mess last year. He knew he would not return to the Pelicans because they had so many big men on their roster.
For NBA teams, he spoke about mutual interest from the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards.
Motiejunas was reportedly considering a bid from Tel Aviv Maccabi for approximately $1.17 million per season. Zalgiris Kaunas, the EuroLeague team based in Lithuania, had expressed interest as well.
Former NBA players including Norris Cole, Jason Thompson and A.J. Price played for Shandong last year. But Cole returned to the NBA and Thompson will play in Turkey.