The NBA’s system reducing his earning power with nothing left to do but voice dissent.
Donatas Motiejunas is there again.
After the Pistons voided a trade for him last season, Motiejunas slammed Detroit for flunking him on his physical as an excuse to change its mind on an unfavorable deal. The big man’s clear concern: The Pistons’ negative evaluation adversely affecting him in free agency this summer.
Returned to the Rockets, Motiejunas remains a restricted free agent with a $4,433,683 qualifying offer on the table. His restricted status probably limited other suitors, which of course Houston wants to use to its advantage.
That has left Motiejunas again taking to the media, this time through his agent, B.J. Armstrong.
Armstrong, via Calvin Watkins of ESPN:
“They haven’t made us a serious offer,” Motiejunas’ agent, BJ Armstong told ESPN on Wednesday. “Our moment of truth will be October 1. We’ll make a decision on that day.”
“There’s only so much we can do based on the current CBA,” Armstrong said alluding to the fact Motiejunas is a restricted free agent and outside of getting an offer from another team, which the Rockets can match, he’s in limbo. “I’m not frustrated, this is what it is. We’ll know where the Rockets stand by (Oct. 1). All deals get done in the 11th hour.”
Motiejunas’ qualifying offer expires Oct. 1. If he doesn’t accept it, he’ll remain a restricted free agent – but without the ability to unilaterally accept a one-year, $4,433,683 offer from the Rockets. He’d be stuck without whatever they offer, though they’d also risk not having a helpful player. Letting Oct. 1 pass would be extremely risky for Motiejunas.
He turns 26 next week, and when healthy, he can score inside and out. But repeated back injuries cause major concern.
I’m not sure Armstrong can just lobby the Rockets into making a bigger long-term offer. They might prefer Motiejunas on a one-year contract so they can reevaluate his health in 2017.