10 big men Rockets GM Rafael Stone should pursue
Houston Rockets target # 8: Johnathan Motley
To say that Johnathan Motley had a stellar collegiate career at Baylor would be a major understatement, as he was an All-American during his junior season in Waco and even won the Karl Malone award, which goes to the nation’s top power forward. But in spite of Motley’s success in Waco, he went undrafted in the 2017 NBA Draft, leading many to question whether he made the wrong decision by leaving Baylor with a year left of eligibility.
The Houston-native continued towards his path of making it to the NBA, as he was signed to a two-way contract by the Dallas Mavericks. Motley would ultimately only play 11 games for the Mavericks, as he was traded to the LA Clippers during the 2018 offseason.
Motley’s convoluted path to the NBA continued after he was dealt to the Clippers, as he was later signed by the Phoenix Suns at the start of the 2020 offseason. Motley would only last four games in the desert, but posted averages of six points on 53 percent from the field, while also averaging 4.8 rebounds, all in just 11.3 minutes per contest.
Phoenix would release Motley before the season started, likely sending him to the G-League yet again, where he has been beyond stellar since joining in 2017. Motley has been All-G-League in each of his three seasons in which he played, and has been one of the top scorers, as outlined below:
- 2017-18: 22.2 points (10th)
- 2018-19: 24.5 points (6th)
- 2019-20: 24 points (2nd)
Motley posted a true shooting percentage of greater than 60 percent in each season and averaged 10 rebounds in each of his first two seasons, while averaging 9.2 rebounds through his entire G-League career, which isn’t bad for a 6-foot-8 forward.
Motley has also flashed the ability to create looks for others, as he’s averaged roughly three assists in the G-League, while also making 35.6 percent of his threes in 2019-20, which is proof of his all-around skillset. At 25-years-old and a surefire inexpensive cost, Motley would be a wise add for Houston Rockets GM Rafael Stone.
Next: No. 7