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.