Here’s why Donatas Motiejunas is refusing to report to the Rockets


Donatas Motiejunas is refusing to report to the Rockets, according to his agent B.J. Armstrong. Houston matched the offer sheet Motiejunas obtained from the Nets as a restricted free agent, but an ESPN report states that the Rockets' deal is technically for $6 million less:

Last week, Motiejunas signed a four-year, $37 million offer sheet with the Nets. The Rockets on Monday opted to match that offer. However, based on the CBA, the Rockets only had to match the principle terms of the offer sheet, which came to $31 million.

The $6 million difference was to be paid to Motiejunas via incentive clauses if he played for the Nets.

The Rockets are simply playing by the rules of the league's collective bargaining agreement, which make things difficult for players who are restricted free agents. If Motiejunas doesn't report, Houston can pull the offer, which would leave Motiejunas without a contract and return him to a restricted free agent status.

Houston tried to trade Motiejunas to the Pistons at February's deadline last season, but the deal was voided by Detroit because of a failed physical. That made for an awkward reunion with the Rockets, but Motiejunas appeared in 22 of his team's final 23 games, and started in four of Houston's five playoff contests against the Warriors.

Teams have shied away from making offers to Motiejunas because he's undergone two back surgeries. But the 26-year-old Lithuanian told ESPN that he passed a series of tests before signing Brooklyn's offer sheet. The seven-footer averaged a career-best 12 points and 5.9 rebounds in 28.7 minutes per game in 2015, but those numbers dipped last season after his role was significantly reduced.