Pelicans Officially Sign Donatas Motiejunas
New Orleans Pelicans officially announced the signing of forward/center Donatas Motiejunas (doh-NAH-tahs moe-tee-YOU-nus). It's a one-year deal for $1.5 million veteran's-minimum, per The Vertical's Shams Charania.
Montiejunas, a 7'0, 26 year old from Lithuania, has displayed strong rim protection and defense at the foul line in pick in role situations during his career.
His journey to end up in New Orleans is a peculiar one.
Montiejunas didn't want to sign the Rockets initial offer sheet as a restricted free agent. Eventually, Brooklyn made him a 4-year, $37 million offer, but the Rockets matched it, taking out a number of incentives that make the overall value of the deal $31 million.
Unhappy with the Rockets decision, Montiejunas refused to sign the deal, before Houston eventually upped the offer to $35 million over 4 years, with the opportunity to reach $37 million based on incentives.
He finally agreed to sign the deal, but failed his physical in Houston, leading the Rockets to pull the restricted tag off him and make him an unrestricted free agent.
Brooklyn did not have the cap space necessary to sign a deal with him once he became an UFA.
Having a $37 million offer, only to sign a $1.5 million deal weeks later wasn't what Montiejunas or his agent envisioned, but he's a Pelican none the less.
He'll likely have an opportunity for playing time as big men Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca have been disappointing.