Jeremy Lin is still out with an injury but he could have a new starting power forward when he returns from sickbay. The Brooklyn Nets are looking hard at Donatas Motiejunas, according to latest NBA news and could sign the restricted free agent from the Houston Rockets.
Motiejunas vs. Rockets contract impasse
Motiejunas and the Rockets have not agreed on a deal ever since the Lithuanian big man hit free agency after last season. Motiejunas has not gotten offers from elsewhere. The Rockets are reportedly trying to lowball him with offers that Motiejunas’ camp does not agree with.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, Motiejunas will undergo a physical with the Nets this week. This could lead to an offer sheet and the ball will be in Houston’s hands if they want to retain the big man.
Brooklyn had Houston RFA Donatas Motiejunas visit for a physical, weighing signing him to an offer sheet, league sources tell @TheVertical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) December 1, 2016
The Nets will be the first team to show interest in the free agent and has the salary cap space in trying to steal him away from Houston. The Rockets still have a chance to retain him by matching any Nets’ offer but it’s highly unlikely because of the strained relationship between the two parties.
The Rockets, under new head coach Mike D’Antoni’s fast-paced system, have also been one of the surprising teams this year. Before Thursday’s game against the defending West champs Golden State Warriors, James Harden and company owns an 11-7 record, good for fourth place in the tough Western Conference.
Motiejunas still has promising potential
Donatas Motiejunas was a serviceable player last season for the Rockets. His best year in Houston came in 2014-2015 when he averaged 12.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game. He is still young at 26 years old and his potential to be a regular starter for any NBA team can still happen.
The Nets appear to be a perfect fit for Motiejunas. They only have Trevor Booker and Luis Scola as worthy power forwards in the rotation and Motiejunas could easily steal the starting PF spot in Brooklyn.
Watch the Lithuanian in action in a career-game in 2014:
Video Courtesy: YouTube/Ximo Pierto
If the Nets acquire Motiejunas, he could join the team in time for the return of Jeremy Lin from injury. The Asian-American guard is suffering from a hamstring injury but he is expected to rejoin the team in the next week.
Photo Courtesy: Lpdrew/Wikimedia Commons