And-Ones: Motiejunas, Deng, Jokic

The Nets signed Donatas Motiejunas to an offer sheet on Friday and the timing of it was no accident, Marc Stein of ESPN.com writes. Brooklyn hopes that by waiting until after November 23 to sign Motiejunas, the Rockets will further consider not matching, as that was the last day they could have signed him and still been allowed to trade him this season. If Houston matches now, the big man can’t be traded for a full year without his consent.

Stein also notes that Brooklyn hired former longtime Rockets executive Gianluca Pascucci as its director of international scouting during the offseason and there’s likely a correlation between the hiring of Pascucci and the Nets offer to Motiejunas.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • Luol Deng is struggling in his first season with the Lakers and the chatter about whether he fits in on Los Angeles’ young, promising team is expected to continue, Stein adds in the same piece. Deng signed a four-year, $72MM deal with the team in the offseason.
  • Nikola Jokic will miss at least a week as he recovers from a sprained wrist, Christopher Dempsey of The Denver Post relays. “Talking to Nikola, he wants to play right when he can catch the ball,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said. “I think we’ll probably be a little more cautious than that on this road trip, maybe get it looked at again just to kind of see where it’s at once the swelling goes down.”
  • Jake Rauchbach of Basketball Insiders examines how Russell Westbrook and James Harden are producing eye-popping numbers on the Thunder and Rockets, respectively. Both players signed extensions with their respective teams this offseason.
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One thought on “And-Ones: Motiejunas, Deng, Jokic

  1. formerlyz

    After seeing the first month of games, I’d probably say that 1 of Luol Deng or Julius Randle will have to come off the bench. Deng struggled at the 3, here in Miami, and hasn’t looked good there so far for the Lakers. He needs to be utilized more at the 4 in the modern NBA, as he was in the 2nd half last year. The Heat added more movement to the offense, and got Deng more involved, and that’s when he put up those big numbers, and he also was able to arguably impact the game even more so than usual defensively, switching and guarding multiple spots…Randle has been a favorite of mine since I saw him play a couple of high school games in his senior year, and then actually getting me to watch some college basketball for a few games when he was at Kentucky. I think he is a beast waiting to be unleashed even more. That being said, he and Deng currently play the same position. Randle still needs to improve a lot on the defensive end, and bringing consistent effort, and making multiple efforts on that side of the floor. He also needs to continue to improve his jumpshot, including expanding his range, and though he has somewhat improved in this regard, he needs to continue to work on his right hand, both going that way and finishing with that hand. I like that he is being utilized more as a playmaker. I think that needs to continue to be developed. I think he can really give them help off the bench this year, with this roster…

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