6:55pm: New Orleans hopes to have the new contract with Motiejunas competed by Monday or Tuesday, Stein reports in a full story.
12:28pm: The Pelicans are finalizing a one-year deal with Motiejunas at the veteran’s minimum, tweets ESPN’s Marc Stein.
12:02pm: Representatives for Donatas Motiejunas had “positive talks” with the Pelicans this morning, and a deal could be finalized today, tweets Shams Charania of The Vertical. The news comes after the team announced that it has waived veteran small forward Reggie Williams.
New Orleans has about $808K left under the room mid-level exception to sign Motiejunas, according to The Vertical’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). A veteran’s minimum deal for Motiejunas would be worth roughly $600K, since the value of the minimum exception has prorates during the season. Either exception would limit Motiejunas to a two-year deal.
Motiejunas 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, but that was followed by a holdout after Houston didn’t match the bonuses in the contract, then a separate deal with the Rockets, who decided to waive Motiejunas after his physical.
The Lithuanian big man could find an opportunity for playing time in New Orleans, where 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.
Williams, who was waived by the Thunder during the preseason, signed with the Pelicans December 9th. He got into five games, averaging 5.0 points and 1.2 rebounds per night. New Orleans was the fifth team for the 30-year-old, who was out of the NBA all of last season. Marks tweets that the Pelicans’ cap hit for waiving Williams is $180,483.