New Orleans Pelicans close to deal with Donatas Motiejunas

 After some back and forth about where he play this season, Donatas Motiejunas is nearing a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Houston Rockets were slow to re-sign center Donatas Motiejunas through the offseason and into the season, so the Brooklyn Nets swooped in with an offer sheet in early December. The Rockets matched the offer sheet, but Motiejunas did not report for a physical and his rights were renounced by the team.

After a report the Los Angeles Lakers had Motiejunas in for a workout recently, the big man has now apparently found a new team.

The New Orleans Pelicans waived veteran swingman Reggie Williams earlier on Sunday to create room on the roster for Motiejunas, who was an unrestricted free agent after the Rockets renounced his rights.

After an 0-8 start this season, New Orleans have won four games in a row and five of their last six to push their record to 14-21 as the calendar flips to 2017. That has them just one game behind the Sacramento Kings and the Denver Nuggets for eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Six of the next seven games for the Pelicans will be on the road though, starting with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night, so maintaining their current standing will be a challenge.

It’s unclear when Motiejunas will make his debut for the Pelicans, but if he passes a physical and gets on the practice court right away it should be sooner rather than later. But if we’ve learned anything, dating back to a renounced deal at last February’s trade deadline, nothing can be assumed when it comes to Motiejunas and his health.

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