The Donatas Motiejunas saga is over
The strange journey of center Donatas Motiejunas is finally over.
Formerly a member of the Houston Rockets, the team dealt the bigman to the Detroit Pistons as part of a three-way deal last February, only to have the deal fall apart due to a back issue revealed in the post-trade physical.
Motiejunas was eager to move on as he saw little opportunity for himself with the Rockets.
A restricted free agent this past summer, he signed a four-year, $35 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets — Only to see the Rockets match the deal, keeping him.
Motiejunas then refused to report to the Rockets for the mandatory physical, which lead to the two sides reworking the contract.
Not long after that, the Rockets simply decided to cut ties with the 26-year-old, surrendering his rights, thus making him an unrestricted free agent.
Now the 7-0 center joins a New Orleans team that’s recently been headed in more of a small-ball direction. Since moving away from Omer Asik (who hasn’t played in the team’s last five games) and Alexis Ajinca (who hasn’t played in the last four), the Pelicans are 3-1.
Motiejunas should be a decent fit with the team given his outside shooting ability.
During his last healthy-ish season, he shot nearly 37% from the outside on almost 2 attempts a game.
If healthy, his outside shooting should help spread the court for Anthony Davis, allowing for slightly more tradition lineups.
“Healthy” is a big word for the Lithuanian bigman though and he’s never played in more than 71 games in a single-season during his NBA career.
The contract is reportedly a one-year deal where he’ll receive a prorated portion of the veteran’s minimum, so it’s not too much of a gamble for the Pelicans.