Free agent guard Josh Akognon has reached agreement on a substantial one-year contract with Qingdao Eagles of the Chinese Basketball Association, sources told RealGM.
Akognon will make significantly more money with Qingdao than if he had signed with one of the several NBA teams that showed recent interest.
With Qingdao, Akognon’s season will be complete and have him available to NBA teams by early February. Three NBA teams had been interested in him and would be more inclined to sign him near the trade deadline, a source said.
For Akognon, the lucrative deal and the shortened season keep him in position to play in the NBA this season.
Akognon played three games with the Dallas Mavericks last season, and he led the organization’s summer league team in July for the second straight year, averaging nearly 18 points on 39.1 percent three-point shooting. The Memphis Grizzlies unexpectedly released him on Oct. 6.
Regarded as a knockdown shooter and strong ball handler, Akognon went undrafted in the 2008 NBA draft, carving an impressive professional career overseas. He played parts of the last two seasons with Dongguan and Liaoning in China.