Rockets News

Donatas Motiejunas forced to pass on Olympics without Free Agency resolution

By Tamberlyn Richardson
Mar 29, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas (20) drives and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert (4) defends during the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 29, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas (20) drives and Cleveland Cavaliers guard Iman Shumpert (4) defends during the first quarter at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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As countries prepare for the Rio Olympics, Houston Rockets Donatas Motiejunas has been forced to pass on the opportunity.

Although the Houston Rockets extended a qualifying offer to Donatas Motiejunas as season end the Lithuanian’s free agency  has yet to be resolved.

With the qualifying offer and Donatas Motiejunas bird rights the Rockets have the right to match any offer D-Mo may receive from another team.

As per Mark Berman of Fox 26 Sports there are other teams still interested in landing the talented big man.

It’s been a difficult year for the Rockets big man that saw him sent to Detroit at the trade deadline only to have the trade rescinded with Stan Van Gundy citing his back as being unacceptable. What’s closer to the truth is the Pistons landed Tobias Harris which resolved their stretch four requirements.

At the time Motiejunas had discussed suing the Pistons because that move hurt the value of  D-Mo’s free agency. As the big man regained his form in the latter stages of the season back in Houston he began to show signs of returning to the player he was prior to the back surgery that took him off the court in 2014-15.

Looking at the hefty contracts handed out this off season to players like Timofey Mozgov and Bismack Biyombo one would think Motiejunas has a point regarding how much his value may have dropped via the Pistons move.

Adding insult to injury the fact his free agency hasn’t been resolved now he’ll need to forfeit attending the Rio Olympics as per Berman’s article:

“I couldn’t go because the team just left today to Spain to play some friendly games,” Motiejunas said. “The Federation asked me to tell them if I’m in or not, and I told them without a contract I cannot really go because of insurance problems. I didn’t want to risk (injury) in that situation.

Of note, Motiejunas has dedicated this summer to building his core which will in turn strengthen his back and make remove the potential for further back injury.

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D-Mo also said his hopes are to return to the Rockets as he has enjoyed his tenure in Houston.

Though he offers that he’d like to sign a 3 or 4 year deal presumably if the numbers don’t meet with his liking he could ink a one or two year deal with an opt out to take advantage next season if he puts up big numbers this coming season.

Watch for an article coming soon from Daniel Zepeda who’ll analyze what the Rockets should be willing to offer Motiejunas and how he may succeed in the D’Antoni system.

SCS will update as free agency news develops. For now if you’re a fan who wants to follow free agency closely check the NBA Free Agency Tracker (updated daily)

Next: NBA Free Agency Tracker

and the Free Agency Profiles for all 30 teams entering Free Agency:

Next: Free Agency Profiles for all 30 Teams

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