Former Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas hasn’t been signed this year, and the Brooklyn Nets might step in.According to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical, the Nets brought Motiejunas down for a physical, and seem interested in his services.
Brooklyn had Houston RFA Donatas Motiejunas visit for a physical, weighing signing him to an offer sheet, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) December 1, 2016
ESPN’s Marc Stein also noted that the Nets are “comfortable” with where his medical status.
The seven-footer from Lithuania is an unrestricted free agent because he and Houston Rockets haven’t been able to agree on a deal. In essence, D-Mo feels undervalued.
All four of his NBA seasons were spent with the Rockets, and he underperformed last season.
The year prior, Motiejunas was a huge piece of the Rockets’ rotation and averaged more than 28 minutes a night for 71 games. He was a reliable outside shooter (36.8 percent) and put up 12 points and 5.9 rebounds for the year. Additionally, he was a solid rim protector for a team who finished eighth in defensive efficiency.
Because of a back injury, D-Mo suited up for just 37 contests last year and was a shell of his former self.
His shooting percentages dropped, and he was a 43.9 percent shooter after nailing more than 50 percent the year before. Furthermore, his defense was clearly impacted, and he was nowhere close to being the same inside presence.
The Nets could capitalize on this, and Motiejunas isn’t the worst big man on the market.
It’s clear he’s healthy, and he played in 23 of the Rockets’ final 24 regular season games last year; he also played in each of the five playoff games against the Golden State Warriors.
Sean Marks should take a shot on him. If anything, he’ll bolster the back end of their defense.
Motiejunas would be an upgrade over Justin Hamilton as the backup center because he can play both inside and outside on offense, and he’s not a defensive liability, which is the Nets’ biggest concern right now.
He isn’t a shot-blocker by any means, but he disrupts his fair share of shots.
Back in 2014-15, his best season as a pro, opponents shot 54.6 percent on field goals within six feet of the rim — the league average was 59.8, according to Synergy.
The Rockets have three days to match any offer sheet that’s presented to Montiejunas, but they seem to have moved on from him, according to Mike D’Antoni.
Update: Dec 2, 2015
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that the Nets signed Motiejunas to a four-year, $37 million offer sheet.
Houston will have three days to match.
The back-end of the deal is non-guaranteed with more money being loaded on the first two years; the contract also includes “trigger dates.”
Sources: Deal will include "trigger dates" prior to free agency where team must pick up option. That makes a Houston match even more likely.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) December 3, 2016