- Marc Stein, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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But the Texas Legends won't know until this weekend at the earliest if McCants is actually joining them.
McCants has to play for the Legends if he wants to play in the D-League this season after they acquired his rights through the NBA's new D-League allocation rules. Yet one of his advisers told ESPNDallas.com on Wednesday night that the 26-year-old continues to hold out hope of landing an NBA job.
According to Percy Miller -- widely known as Master P from his days as a rap artist -- McCants has received interest from "a couple NBA teams." Miller declined to name the teams but left the distinct impression that McCants intends to play out every NBA possibility, however remote, before reporting to the Legends.
The Legends open training camp under coach Nancy Lieberman this weekend and remain hopeful that McCants will ultimately show, since he didn't find a job anywhere last season and has been largely avoided by NBA teams for months.
Yet there have been doubts ever since McCants' lawyer, Lindsey Maxwell, told AOLFanHouse.com last week that the 26-year-old was discouraged not to receive more of a look from the Mavericks in training camp.
The Mavericks signed McCants and fellow recent former first-round pick Sean Williams on Oct. 20 largely to ensure that the Legends could secure their D-League rights before Monday's D-League draft. Both were waived by the Mavs within 48 hours of signing, but a new NBA rule enables D-League teams to claim the rights to three players from the training camp roster of their NBA parent teams who are released before Opening Night.
Williams, drafted No. 17 overall by New Jersey in 2007, is a Mansfield High product and has committed to be in Legends camp from the start. The Legends also acquired another recognizable name -- 12-year NBA veteran guard Antonio Daniels, who’s trying to work his way back into the league at 35 -- in Monday’s draft. (Jason Terry’s brother, Curtis, is on the roster as well.)
Legends officials remain optimistic that exposure, as much as anything, will ultimately convince McCants to join them, based on the premise that a strong stint in Frisco -- in a league generally regarded as the most scouted league in the world -- could start to repair a reputation damaged by concerns about McCants' willingness to fit into a team structure as well as his various injuries.
The Legends' Nov. 18 season opener at Rio Grande will be televised nationally on Versus, and they do figure to attract as much exposure as any D-League franchise can count on with Lieberman as the first-ever female coach of any team under the NBA's umbrella, Spud Webb and Del Harris as team executives, Mavericks president of basketball Donnie Nelson as co-owner and Chinese businessman Sonny Xiao as another co-owner.
Another perk: Tim Grgurich, one of the game's foremost skills gurus and a recent addition to the Mavs’ staff, will be made available to work with Legends players on occasion when his schedule permits.
Grgurich doesn’t have a formal title with the Mavs beyond "consultant," but it was an undeniable coup for Dallas to secure Grgurich’s services after his unexpected departure from George Karl’s bench Denver in the summer.
"Gurg doesn’t need a title," Nelson said. "Everybody knows what he does and they know he’s incredible. There’s a line at practice of guys who want to get on the court with him."
As for McCants, Nelson said: "I think this is an ideal situation for Rashad to prove to everyone in the NBA that he's got what it takes to be a star two-guard in this league. If there's any work that needs to be done in terms of the perception he has around the league, this is the perfect place for him to do that."
It is generally assumed in NBA personnel circles that McCants would almost certainly earn an invite back to the big leagues this season if he plays well in the D-League. McCants averaged 10.0 points per game in his first four seasons after being drafted No. 14 overall by Minnesota in 2005 but has scarcely been heard from since finishing the 2008-09 season with Sacramento.
Rashad McCants' name was indeed included when the Dallas Mavericks' D-League affiliate in nearby Frisco announced its roster earlier this week.But the Texas Legends won't know until this weekend at the earliest if McCants is actually joining them.