It was one of the rolls of the dice that Stan Van Gundy made at the deadline, a three-team trade that netted Detroit Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton, sent a first round pick to Houston (top eight protected), and a second round pick and Joel Anthony ended up in Philadelphia (they plan to waive Anthony).
But the deal was never made official by the league — all the players have yet to pass their physicals. And now the Pistons want more time to evaluate Motiejunas’ health, reports Keith Langlois of Pistons.com.
If the Pistons pull the plug, the entire trade comes apart, as noted by The Vertical at Yahoo Sports’ Bobby Marks.
Motiejunas has been out since December with back issues and may not return this season. He missed the end of last season with a bad back as well. That’s troubling when talking about a big man, but it is balanced out by the fact Motiejunas is just 25 and could well bounce back.
Healthy Motiejunas is a great fit for Detroit, he can play inside — he’s a legit seven-footer — who is shooting 41.2 percent from three this season. He can be the backup behind Andre Drummond at the five and play some stretch four if needed. Van Gundy has coveted him for a while.
But if he can’t get on the court and stay healthy, none of that matters. And the Pistons clearly have concerns.