Report: Rockets offering Donatas Motiejunas $7 million guaranteed this season

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Donatas Motiejunas let his $4,433,683 qualifying offer from the Rockets expire, leaving him a restricted free agent with no unilateral path to joining the team.

Bust Houston has thrown him a lifeline.

Marc Stein of ESPN:

We don’t know enough about that offer to judge it.

If the contract comes with multiple unguaranteed seasons and a deescalating salary, that’s probably a bad deal for Motiejunas. If he plays well and stays healthy, he’d be locked in at a submarket rate. If he struggles or gets hurt (an enhanced possibility with him), Houston could cut him loose without additional payments.

If it’s a one-year deal, Motiejunas should probably take it.

Both sides have some leverage.

The Rockets’ ability to match any NBA offer has cooled outside interest. Other teams now have full rosters. As Motiejunas sits out, he’s not earning any money.

But Houston also isn’t getting his production, which is his major source of leverage. The Rockets could use the talented big man. Another bit of leverage for Motiejunas: the threat of playing overseas.

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Spending the season in another league wouldn’t end Motiejunas’ restricted status. Houston would maintain matching rights.

So, if Motiejunas is going to play in the NBA again, Daryl Morey and B.J. Armstrong must find common ground. As of last check, that’s not going so hot.