The Pelicans are still in talks with center Donatas Motiejunas on finalizing a deal, New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry confirmed to reporters, including John Reid of The Times Picayune. It was reported Sunday that the Pelicans were nearing an agreement with the 7-footer.
”We’re talking and we’re in negotiations,” Gentry said.
The deal is expected to be a one-year pact at the veteran’s minimum, and the deal was expected to be done by Tuesday. That would be a large pay cut for Motiejunas, who has been without a team since restricted free agency began in July. He went five months without an offer before agreeing to an offer sheet with the Nets in early December. That deal was matched by the Rockets, who later waived him following Motiejunas’ physical.
There is a strong chance, assuming Motiejunas is healthy, that the big man will have a shot at a role with decent playing time in New Orleans because centers Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca have been removed from the rotation. Motiejunas was limited by back problems last season and averaged 6.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 37 games with the Rockets.