Restricted free agent Donatas Motiejunas has been hanging in limbo after failing to reach an agreement on a new deal with the Houston Rockets or any other team, but the Brooklyn Nets are planning on giving the forward an offer sheet sometime in the next few days, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. Assuming Motiejunas signs the offer sheet, the Rockets would then have three days to match.
The 26-year-old didn’t get a new deal this past offseason thanks to concerns about his history of back injuries. Those issues even resulted in the Detroit Pistons voiding a trade for the big man at least year’s deadline. But the Nets are apparently “comfortable” with where he’s at medically, so they’ll dip into their roughly $18 million in cap space to make an offer. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the Rockets were offering around $8 million a year but short on guaranteed length, and they’ve shown interest in matching an offer sheet.
Motiejunas showed a ton of promise in his third season, averaging 12.0 points and 5.9 rebounds as the Rockets advanced to the Western Conference Finals. But then came last year’s health problems, and he appeared in only 37 games. His effectiveness naturally took a dive as well, with both his overall field goal percentage and three-point percentage dipping in a big way.
If healthy, Motiejunas would provide a boost to a Nets team lacking in talent, especially in the frontcourt. Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker aren’t bad as a starting group and Justin Hamilton has shown some nice things as a backup, but Luis Scola is nearing the end of the road. Motiejunas would be a much more effective option, and he can play both the 4 and 5 spots.