Lithuanian big man Donatas Motiejunas will become an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming offseason. According to the latest reports, Motiejunas plans to leave the New Orleans Pelicans and join a playoff team next season.
In January, Motiejunas signed with the Pelicans to pair with Anthony Davis in the frontcourt. Unfortunately, when the Sacramento Kings traded DeMarcus Cousins to New Orleans, Motiejunas found himself out of the rotation and received limited playing time. In 34 games he played this season, he only averaged 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds.
Donatas Motiejunas planning to join a playoff team in free agency
According to a Lithuanian basketball journalist, Donatas Urbonas, Motiejunas has no intention to re-sign with the Pelicans in the upcoming free agency. The 26-year-old power forward/center thinks the Pelicans don’t need him anymore. They already have Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins and three other big men battling for the backup role.
“They don’t need me with already 4-5 big man on the roster for the next season,” Motiejunas said. “I want to play for a team where I would be a good fit and which play team basketball. The money will come later.”
In a separate tweet, Urbonas revealed the four NBA teams Motiejunas wants to join this summer. These include the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, and the Utah Jazz. The said playoff teams also expressed interest in adding him to their team.
Donatas Motiejunas to Washington Wizards makes sense
With his statement, it’s crystal clear that Motiejunas is eyeing to make a deep playoff run next season. The Golden State Warriors proved to be the ideal free agency destination if he wants to win an NBA championship title. However, the Warriors already have Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee at 5.
Of all the four teams, joining the Washington Wizards makes sense for the Lithuanian big man. In the past four seasons, Marcin Gortat served as the Wizards starting center. He remains productive as the man in the middle but he’s obviously on the near end of his career. After being eliminated in the Eastern Conference playoffs, Gortat expressed his frustration and plans to evaluate if the Wizards are still the “right fit.”
He opens the possibility of spending the remaining years of his NBA career with other teams. If Gortat leaves this summer, Motiejunas will have the opportunity to battle for the starting spot against Ian Mahinmi, provided that the Wizards sign him this summer. This will give him the opportunity to unleash his full potential playing under coach Scott Brooks.
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