Donatas Motiejunas let his $4,433,683 qualifying offer expire, but the Rockets still left a $7 million-guaranteed deal on the table for him. A key for Houston? Signing Motiejunas by the end of the day, so he’d be trade eligible before the trade deadline, which is three months away.
Apparently, Motiejunas waited too long to accept.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
Motiejunas remains a restricted free agent. He can sign with the Rockets directly or an offer sheet with another team that Houston can match.
The only difference is that the Rockets are offering less now. They almost certainly haven’t pulled every offer. Even if they couldn’t trade Motiejunas this season, they’d surely love to have him for the minimum. We don’t know the new standing offer, but it’d be illogical for there not to be one.
This was the risk of declining the qualifying offer for Motiejunas. I was surprised Houston still offered $7 million guaranteed, but we don’t know the overall terms of that offer. It could have still been extremely team-friendly (with multiple lower-paying unguaranteed years).
Now, Motiejunas doesn’t even have that, and the standoff continues.