Donatas Motiejunas Not Reporting To Rockets

12:02pm: “We have our rights,” said Motiejunas’ agent B.J. Armstrong, per Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). “We’re not going to show up. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what the Rockets do.”

11:47am: The Rockets essentially have two options for the Motiejunas situation, tweets Wojnarowski: Leave his deal on their books and hope he reports and signs it, or return him to restricted free agency. If Motiejunas hits the market again, he wouldn’t be eligible to sign with the Nets for a year, says Wojnarowski.

11:44am: A day after the Rockets matched his four-year offer sheet to retain him, Donatas Motiejunas did not show up for his scheduled physical exam with the team this morning, reports Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). According to Feigen, the Rockets are weighing their options as they consider how to move forward.

Motiejunas, 26, remained on the free agent market for more than five months before finally signing an offer sheet with the Nets on Friday. On Monday, the Rockets exercised their right of first refusal on that deal, which has a base value of $35MM over four years, waiving Bobby Brown to clear room on their roster for the RFA forward. However, Motiejunas has yet to report to the team.

The Rockets reached an agreement to trade Motiejunas to the Pistons at last year’s deadline, but that deal ultimately fell through because of health concerns related to the big man’s back. Houston had also hoped to re-sign Motiejunas before November 23 so that he’d still be trade-eligible this season, another sign that he is perhaps not in the club’s long-term plans. Those factors, combined with the fact that the Rockets never made a contract offer Motiejunas’ camp viewed as acceptable, likely created friction between the player and team, though it’s not clear if that’s what motivated his no-show today.

It’s also not entirely clear what options the Rockets have at their disposal if Motiejunas doesn’t report to the team. According to Feigen (via Twitter), Houston “could return Motiejunas to restricted free agent status,” though the team has yet to make any decisions. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical confirms (via Twitter) that the Rockets and Motiejunas’ reps are discussing the situation.

We’ll provide updates on the situation as they’re available.

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11 thoughts on “Donatas Motiejunas Not Reporting To Rockets

  1. Senioreditor

    How does he ever “win” this situation? If they return him to free agency he’s in the same situation with one less team able to sign him?

    • Luke Adams

      Yeah, I don’t really get what Motiejunas hopes to gain from this. Unless there’s serious concern in his camp about whether he’d pass the Rockets’ physical, it seems like a play with little upside.

      • Understandable. The rockets clearly only have interest in signing him so they can trade him later. If stability is what he’s looking for this is his best option.

        • Luke Adams

          The Rockets will still be able to match the next offer he gets if he goes back to restricted free agency though. If he doesn’t want to be in Houston, he probably should’ve just signed his qualifying offer when he had the chance, which would have at least let him become an unrestricted free agent and sign anywhere next summer.

          • liamsfg

            Hes just got balls. Clearly he doesn’t want to be in Houston for personal reasons and he’ll take his chances to sign elsewhere.

          • These “balls” will land him right outside of the NBA with his medical record and this kind of behaviour.

  2. Just thinking, is a sign and trade a possible solution if the Nets really want him? Because otherwise it’s China or Europe for him if he’s so desperate to be out of Houston.

    • Luke Adams

      Sign-and-trade deals aren’t allowed after the start of the regular season, so for that to be an option it would have to happen during the 2017 offseason (and only if he becomes an RFA again and doesn’t land an NBA deal this season).

  3. thedude

    I don’t blame the guy, Rockets have been screwing him around and he clearly did not want to play in Houston. If it had to do with passing the physical he wouldn’t have no showed, he be trying to prove he’s healthy so he could play.

  4. Richard

    Well, they are offering $37 mil to a guy MOST have never heard of. Crazy Money to be handing to a scrub. He should report; it’d be his responsibility to do so. But, if he’s going to be aloof about this, then maybe Houston can trade him to the Nets? Maybe get back Scola? I remember Scola did alright for the Rox some yrs ago? Maybe a backup @ this pt?

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