One-year NBA veteran Jerrelle Benimon has agreed to play for the Foshan Long Lions of China, a source tells Sportando’s Emiliano Carchia, and he’s pulling out of his deal with the Cavaliers to do so, Chris Reichert of Upside & Motor confirms (Twitter link). Reichert reported earlier this month that the power forward had agreed to sign a deal with the Cavaliers that would bring him to camp, but it appears that finances persuaded him against Cleveland. The Long Lions will pay him nearly $500K in base salary, and incentive clauses that could give him more will be in his contract, Reichert hears, citing a source (Twitter link). It’s unlikely his Cavs contract would have called for a guarantee of nearly that much.
Benimon’s departure further unsettles Cleveland’s camp roster. The Cavs have 13 players on fully guaranteed contracts, though Tristan Thompson‘s continued free agency looms large. D.J. Stephens will be in Cavs camp, as Zach Links of Hoops Rumors reported, and so will Jared Cunningham, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports. Conflicting reports exist on whether the Cavs have a camp deal with former Duke point guard Quinn Cook, but he’s apparently expected to agree to terms.
The decision to turn down a chance to go to Cavs camp for the Chinese offer was difficult for Benimon, but the early end to the Chinese season that could put Benimon back in free agency as soon as February helped motivate the former Towson standout to head overseas, a source tells Reichert (Twitter link). Benimon, like most, wants to play in the NBA, Reichert adds, and the timing of the Chinese season would allow him the chance to chase 10-day contracts like the one he signed with the Jazz last season. He spent most of last season with Utah’s D-League affiliate after failing to make the opening night roster with the Nuggets, who waived the partially guaranteed deal he signed a year ago.
Do you think turning down the Cavs for more money overseas was the right move for Benimon? Leave a comment to tell us.