NBA

Donatas Motiejunas Closer To Deal Than Believed?



In a recent report, ESPN’s Marc Stein indicated that D-League salaries were expected to rise to the $50-75K range when the NBA and NBPA finalized its new Collective Bargaining Agreement. However, in a column today, Stein clarifies that the $50-75K salary will likely only apply to two-way contracts, which are expected to be incorporated into the new CBA.

NBA rosters are expected to be expanded from 15 players to 17 or 18, with those two or three extra slots accommodating players on two-way contracts. Those deals would allow teams to carry multiple players that they shuttle back and forth between the NBA and the D-League, with those players earning money at different rates depending on which league they’re in. According to Stein, most other D-League players will still earn lower salaries — currently, D-League salaries range from $19-26K, and while that rate may increase going forward, the bump likely won’t be as substantial as initially believed.

It’s a disheartening development, according to Chris Reichert of The Step Back, who tweets that he had hoped two-way contracts would be worth in the neighborhood of $200-250K, with other D-League players earning $50-75K. The NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement still hasn’t been finalized and announced, so we’ll have to wait to see exactly what changes it entails, but for now it doesn’t seem as if the D-League salary system will be overhauled significantly.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • Within the aforementioned piece, Stein discusses the Donatas Motiejunas situation again, citing one source close to the talks who believe the RFA forward isn’t far away from landing a contract. It’s not clear if that contract would be a new deal with the Rockets, an offer sheet from another NBA team, or an agreement with a team overseas.
  • Prior to Stein’s clarification on D-League salaries, former Vanderbilt standout Derrick Byars, who is currently playing in France, wrote in a guest post for Ridiculous Upside that increasing the league’s salaries to $50-75K would have been a “game-changer.” Meanwhile, Moke Hamilton of Basketball Insiders suggested that increased salaries could make the D-League a viable alternative to the NCAA for many prospects. While those pieces are still worth reading, it appears both of those points are now moot.
  • Former Sixers and Clippers guard Maalik Wayns is leaving Russian team Enisey and has agreed to terms with Israeli team Maccabi Rishon, reports international basketball journalist David Pick (via Twitter). Wayns, 25, last played in an NBA game in 2014.



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