There have been a decent amount of players signing in China this offseason. A few of them happen to be former players for the Rockets.
Signing in China has been the new hip thing to do for NBA players looking to prove themselves. In fact, it helps some of the players get pretty paid, too. Donatas Motiejunas, for example, signed for $3 million. Let’s take a look at some of the former Rockets who are now playing in China, starting with D-Mo.
D-Mo has had some bad agent luck in his day. Last year, he had the chance to sign a 4-year, $37 million deal that would have locked him down long term. Houston decided to match and Motiejunas did not show up to his physical after some bad advice, possibly from his agent.
Not showing up caused the Rockets to back out of their deal with D-Mo, even after he eventually took the physical. He didn’t play in the NBA until January when he signed with the Pelicans. He did not really flourish there, so he was not a very popular free agency choice in the market.
After not being signed by anyone this summer, he decided to sign a $3 million contract with the Shandong Golden Stars in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA).
A competitor with D-Mo for many years with the Rockets, Terrence Jones also signed in China this offseason. He is an undersized big man who actually had decent numbers in, funnily, New Orleans as well.
T-Jones was drafted by the Rockets in 2012 and played four years for Houston. He averaged around 10 points and 6 rebounds per game during his time with the team. After being cut last season by the Pelicans, he joined Milwaukee and played just three games.
He signed with the Qingdao Eagles of the CBA on a one-year, $2 million deal. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because it is where Tracy McGrady played after his NBA career.
The Ice Cream Man finds himself signing in China this summer. He is a Rockets legend and played with the squad from 2007-2012.
Last season with Brooklyn, Scola hardly played. In 36 games, he averaged a mere 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Overseas was likely going to be one of the only options for the 37-year-old, so he decided to sign in China.
Luis Scola signed with the Shanxi Brave Dragons of the CBA. This year will prove whether he will ever return to the league or if his NBA days are over.
Not-So-Honorable Mention: Ty Lawson
Ty Lawson was a Rocket for half of a season. I am sure that you remember how that worked out for the team. His inability to mesh with James Harden was one of the reasons for such a disappointing 2015-2016 season. He will join Donatas Motiejunas with the Shandong Golden Stars.
The three main former Rockets mentioned in this article were a big part of the team from 2007-2016. The power forwards were good additions in Houston and, hopefully, they can get their careers back on track in the NBA. If not, the CBA is still a fantastic league and they will get the money they deserve.
*All stats via Basketball-Reference*