The Rockets plan to exercise their fourth-year team options on the rookie scale contracts of both Terrence Jones and Donatas Motiejunas, reports Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. The team will wait until the October 31 deadline to do so for the duo, both of whom are entering their third seasons in Houston and will compete for minutes at power forward alongside center Dwight Howard.
Jones, 22, really came into his own last season in his sophomore campaign out of Kentucky, averaging 12.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in 71 starts for the Rockets. Montiejunas, from Lithuania, occupied more of a reserve role, playing 15.4 minutes off the bench. As Feigen notes, the seven-footer was dropped from the rotation in the playoffs. Both players are former first round picks. Jones was selected 18th by the Rockets in 2012 while Montiejunas was taken 20th by Minnesota in 2011.
Once the options are officially exercised, the 2015/16 salaries for Jones ($2.489MM) and Motiejunas ($2.288MM) will become guaranteed, locking in over $50MM in total commitments for Houston next season. With all of the changes to the Houston roster this offseason, there was some speculation that the seven-foot Motiejunas could be dealt. While this news makes that less likely, it’s hard to rule anything out when it comes to the always-active Rockets.