Storyline: Donatas Motiejunas Free Agency

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“The team lost an asset,” Motiejunas told Basketball Insiders. “I lost $37, 38 million, so both sides lost in this situation. No one won in this situation actually. I know, as soon as I step on the floor, the people are going to see that I’m the same guy that I was last year when I was playing. For me, I’m not going to lose anything. After this year, someone else is going to pick me up. I’m not worried about that. I know how to play basketball. I know how to make every and each team better. I adjust to the situation depending on what coach asks me to do, so I’m not worried about that. It was just a ridiculous situation, the resolution was taking too long, and it was affecting me as a player, and it was affecting me personally. Instead of being a business decision it was like more of a personal decision.”

At 26, what has Motiejunas thought of his career to this point? “It’s a big mess,” Motiejunas told Basketball Insiders candidly. “Some of the situations, so far it’s a pretty big mess, but hopefully everything is going to settle down right now and, like I said, I work my butt off every single day of my career. I’m going to keep on doing that step by step. I’m not trying to jump over the hurdles or nothing like that. I’m trying to go step by step, trying to become a better player, trying to become a better teammate. I think that’s the most important thing; never look back, look forward.”

“Honestly, you can say it was business stuff, but, from my side, I’m a basketball player, I just want to play,” Motiejunas told Basketball Insiders. “Being involved in that business situation, it was one of the worst experiences of my life that I’ve had. I would say, from any basketball player, we work every day, we put our sweat, we put our tears, we put our blood on the floor, try to help and make teams better, so when someone acts with you like this, it’s just wrong.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Eight months have passed since Donatas Motiejunas has been able to suit up and participate in an NBA game, but the former Houston Rockets big man is looking forward to finally breaking his unanticipated streak with the New Orleans Pelicans. “I feel incredible,” Motiejunas said. “I was working by myself for the last five months, and it’s really hard when you have only a couple of people with you working out every day. You have to push yourself, because you know someone else is playing and getting back in shape by playing. It’s much easier than working out by yourself. I’m just happy to be back. Hopefully it’s not going to take long to get back into game shape. I’m doing whatever I can to be ready as soon as possible.”
2 years ago via ESPN

Gentry confirmed that the Pelicans had interest in Motiejunas at last year’s trade deadline because of the former Rockets big man’s ability to pass and stretch the floor. League sources told ESPN last season that the Rockets and Pelicans discussed a trade package around Ryan Anderson, who went one to sign with Houston this past offseason. “We talked about trading for him last year,” Gentry said. “We talked in detail about adding him to our team because we felt like he was a guy that offensively could help us and do what we tried to anticipate in the system that we were running. It just didn’t work out, but we’ve had an interest in him.”

Speaking to reporters before Monday night’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said the franchise remains in negotiations to finalize a deal to sign 7-foot center Donatas Motiejunas. ESPN reported on Sunday and sources confirmed on Monday that the deal could be announced no later than Tuesday. ”We’re talking and we’re in negotiations,” Gentry said. ”You’ll have to run that by Dell (Demps).”

Donatas Motiejunas an unrestricted free agent

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that after extensive discussions with Donatas Motiejunas, his representatives, and the NBA league office, the Rockets will renounce Motiejunas and he will become an unrestricted free agent. “Donatas was a true professional throughout his four seasons with the Rockets,” said Morey. “We wish Donatas the best moving forward and want to thank him for his contributions both on the court and in the community.”

With the Rockets’ planned efforts to return forward/center Donatas Motiejunas to the roster at a standstill, Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said talks now involve the NBA in an indication that Motiejunas will not be signed to the contract the sides agreed to on Friday. “We’re in active discussions with Donatas’ representation, the league office and that’s pretty much it,” Morey said. Asked the purpose of the talks, Morey said, “A resolution.”

Motiejunas had a body-fat/weigh-in bonus of $1 million, along with two separate unlikely bonuses of $250,000 for the 2016-17 season, based on playing 70 percent of the team’s regular-season games along with a performance goal of 6.5 defensive rebounds per 36 minutes and a 37 percent three-point percentage (on at least two attempts per game). For each of the last three seasons of his original deal, he had a $750,000 body-fat/weight bonus, a $250,000 bonus for participating in an off-season skill and conditioning program, along with the same pair of $250,000 unlikely performance incentives.
2 years ago via ESPN

After the Houston Rockets matched the Brooklyn Nets’ offer sheet and retained restricted free agent Donatas Motiejunas, the 7-footer is refusing to report for his physical exam and return to the team. “We won’t be reporting,” agent B.J. Armstrong of Wasserman Media Group told The Vertical. Armstrong informed Rockets general manager Daryl Morey of the decision on Tuesday morning. The move comes less than 24 hours after the Rockets matched the base of a four-year, $31 million offer sheet. Houston had been expecting Motiejunas, 26, to show up on Tuesday morning to undergo and pass a physical exam needed to sign and activate him. Motiejunas refused and has no intention of rejoining the Rockets, Armstrong said. If Motiejunas continues to stay away, the Rockets have two options: leave open the current agreement and wait him out, or cancel the deal and return Motiejunas to restricted free agency. Under league rules, the Nets are unable to sign Motiejunas for a full year.
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