Smack / Jul 27, 2014 / 3:30 pm

Donatas Motiejunas Questions Chandler Parsons’ Contract

Donatas Motiejunas

Donatas Motiejunas (Jerome Miron, USATODAY)

The Houston Rockets would have happily matched the Dallas Mavericks’ offer sheet to Chandler Parsons had Chris Bosh done as expected and inked a contract to create the league’s newest Big Three with James Harden and Dwight Howard. Just don’t tell that to Houston big man Donatas Motiejunas. While discussing the state of his team with basketnews.lt, Motiejunas questioned whether or not Parsons is worth the max-level deal he received from Dallas and wondered if Harden would be comfortable being Houston’s third-highest paid player.

Motiejunas’ incendiary interview was translated on Twitter by Lithuanian hoops journalist Simonas Baranauskas.

It’s unclear if Motiejunas doubts Parsons’ worth with respect to his deal as a result of the money alone or a combination of the contract and Harden’s reaction to it. Regardless, this is a helpful reminder that players don’t always have a firm grasp of their team’s or the league’s financial reality.

Not only will Parsons make $728,844 fewer than Harden in 2014-2015 and less money still over the ensuing two seasons, but basketball’s dearth of quality young wings inflates his market worth, too. It’s also easy for the relatively uninitiated to hear a player signed a “max contract” and assume his deal is financially crippling. A max-level contract signed by a player coming off his rookie deal, however, leaves ample room for team-building.

In that same vein, Harden was on track to be the Rockets’ third-highest paid player if Bosh had signed on. Due to his status as an 11-year veteran, Houston was permitted to offer Bosh a four-year contract worth $88 million that would way him well over $20 million annually. Harden, on the other hand, is due just $17.8 million in the final season of his current deal. He also made no bones of being the Rockets’ tertiary financial piece when Bosh signing with the Rockets appeared imminent, casting doubt on Motiejunas’ assumption regarding Parsons.

Players confuse salary information and question the intelligence of their peers’ contracts just as fans do. Rarely do they do so on-record, though, making Motiejunas’ sentiments extra attention-grabbing.

(H/T Eye On Basketball) (Salary information via ShamSports)

What do you think of Motiejunas’ words?

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