We’ve all been wondering what’s going on with Donatas Motiejunas, not knowing if he’d return to the Rockets, go to another NBA squad or even play a season over in Europe. We’re one step closer to an answer today with the announcement from The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Brooklyn Nets are closing in on making D-Mo an offer.
Brooklyn had Houston RFA Donatas Motiejunas visit for a physical, weighing signing him to an offer sheet, league sources tell @TheVertical.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) December 1, 2016
Woj followed that up with a more in-depth story about the situation, claiming that sources say D-Mo will sign the offer sheet as early as Friday.
His sources also say, however, that despite the season-long impasse between D-Mo and the Rockets — Houston has offered $8 million a season, but Motiejunas wants a longer guaranteed length than the Rockets have been willing to give — that Houston is likely to match, barring a huge offer from Brooklyn.
“Depending on the robustness of the deal – in terms of money and guaranteed years – the Rockets have held a strong interest in matching an offer sheet for Motiejunas and getting him back into the team’s lineup, league sources said.”
The one, big holdup has been questions about D-Mo’s health long term after missing significant time following back surgery, but the Nets are apparently comfortable enough with his condition that they are ready to move forward. His physical with Brooklyn is said to have gone well.
“Motiejunas, who played 37 games last season, had been examined by Nets doctors and medical staff in the past week, league sources said, and the results gave comfort to Brooklyn to move forward on the offer sheet.”
So it appears we’re finally close to a resolution in the Case of the Missing Motiejunas. Either the Nets make D-Mo a huge offer, and he’s in Brooklyn by next week (the Rockets have three days to match) or the Rockets exercise their rights under restricted free agency and finally bring Motiejunas back into the fold.
With the way they were dominated by Utah’s front court on Tuesday night and the somewhat disappointing start by free agent acquisition Ryan Anderson, who’s already begun losing minutes, the Rockets would appear to be in need of some help and additional versatility on the front line. D-Mo would be a welcome sight to have in the rotation.
But if the team has also made one thing perfectly clear during this saga, it’s that they have a specific value set on D-Mo’s worth, and they’re not likely to go above and beyond that.
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what the Brooklyn offer looks like before we can speculate whether the Rockets are definitely going to match. But one way or another, it appears this long, drawn out situation is finally ready to come to a conclusion.