After passing along a few details on the latest contract negotiations between the Rockets and Donatas Motiejunas earlier today, Marc Stein fleshed out that report in his latest piece for ESPN.com. According to Stein, November 23 is viewed as an unofficial deadline for Motiejunas to sign, since he wouldn’t be trade-eligible this season if he inks a deal after that date. Players signing free agent contracts are ineligible to be moved for three months after the deal is finalized.
Additionally, as we speculated, the Rockets are reluctant to guarantee any seasons beyond year one in an offer for Motiejunas, sources tell Stein. The forward’s history of back issues plays a significant part in that stance.
Stein has several more updates within his latest piece, so let’s dive in and round them up…
- Some rival executives are “increasingly convinced” that the Nets are willing to trade Brook Lopez before this season’s trade deadline, writes Stein. At this point, Brooklyn is believed to be fielding calls, rather than making them — the club is doing its due diligence rather than shopping its standout center. Stein adds that rumblings about potential Boston interest in Lopez have been shot down by Celtics sources, though the ESPN scribe still believe the C’s are worth keeping an eye on.
- The Raptors have expressed interest in Sixers big man Nerlens Noel, but sources indicate to Stein that Toronto prefers to give its younger players a chance to play more minutes and fill the void created by Jared Sullinger‘s injury. If rookies like Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam aren’t up to the task, perhaps the Raps’ interest in Noel will grow.
- Steven Adams‘ new extension with the Thunder features a 7.5% trade kicker, so he’d get a bonus if he’s traded by Oklahoma City over the life of the four-year deal, per Stein.