The story of the failed trade of Donatas Motiejunas was a discouraging one all around. For the Houston Rockets, it represented the failure of Daryl Morey to make a significant deal to improve the struggling Rockets at the deadline, for this season or the future. On top of that, it killed what optimism there had been that Motiejunas could fully recover from his serious back injury to be a major contributor, in Houston or elsewhere.
But what if that failed physical wasn't a failed physical at all, but second thoughts on the part of the Detroit Pistons? If they reconsidered giving away a first-round pick, possibly because they realized it might wind up a better pick than they were hoping (because they weren't as good as they thought), and nixed the deal under false pretenses, it would be a serious breach of trust and of league rules. Motiejunas, whose value in his upcoming free agency took a massive hit with the trade breaking down, is reportedly alleging Detroit did exactly that in a Lithuanian interview, translated by reddit from Lithuanian website "Basket News."
The medical examination is a funny thing. The team doctor simply says whether you pass or don't, although they may not even do any checks. Those 48 hours actually just let the team decide whether they want you or not. The Pistons announced I did not pass the medical, although I surely did pass it and played even before it. I just got ‘screwed'. The injury was a pretense to call off the trade. They changed their minds.
Now I will be talking to my agent and lawyers to clarify what to do next. The Pistons had access to my full medical history, so they shouldn't have done what they did to me. They decreased my value. The medical examination I ‘failed' was a joke. The Pistons will have some explaining to do why they did not want the trade anymore. We will see what happens.
We've touched on this before, but it's clear D-Mo is thinking that the Pistons' suspicious timing cost him millions of dollars during his pending restricted free agency. What would have been a red flag before is more of a black mark after Detroit's decision for purported medical reasons.
D-Mo is supposedly healthy enough to play now, but with lingering questions about his long-term health bolstered by Detroit, it's unrealistic to expect him to get the same value this summer as he would have if the trade process hadn't begun beforehand. And Donuts is absolutely right to consult his lawyers, because whether the Pistons were justified or not, they totally screwed him.
The Rockets just have to hope they can benefit by maybe signing Donuts to a bargain contract as an RFA this offseason and/or him playing with added motivation down the stretch that he's healthy/good enough to be worth a risk anyway.