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NETS SIGN MOTIEJUNAS TO FOUR-YEAR, $37 MILLION OFFER SHEET

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NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets have signed Houston PF Donatas Motiejunas to a four year, $37 million offer sheet, beginning a three day window for the Rockets to match. The Rockets have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to decide.

The Rockets and Motiejunas have been stuck in a months-long standoff after the Rockets offer him a two-year deal starting at $7 million, with the second year non-guaranteed. David Pick, the European hoops writer, first reported the deal, with Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo’s The Vertical and Marc J. Spears providing details

The Nets offer sheet is not fully guaranteed, even this year, with last two years a team option with trigger dates prior to free agency, Adrian Wojnarnowski reports. But he and others report that the deal is front-loaded.

Bobby Marks, Woj’s colleague at The Vertical laid out the key provisions...

The first-year salary for Motiejunas will start at $9.3 million before bonus considerations and decreases in the next three years. The second year of the contract doesn’t become guaranteed until the team exercises a trigger during the first season of the contract, league sources told Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, and each July prior to the 2018 and 2019 seasons, there’s a trigger date to make a decision on Motiejunas’ deal.

In addition, Woj writes, the offer sheet will provide Motiejunas with $5 million upon the signing of the contract, and decide whether to give him another $3.5 million on January 10, when all NBA contracts become guaranteed. Houston would have to match all aspects of the deal, including the $5 million upfront.

Motiejunas issued a statement welcoming the Nets offer... noting the Nets first made contact with him.

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B.J. Armstrong, Motiejunas agent, tweeted out his happiness with the deal using a hashtag, #nosleeptilBKN.

Woj and other pundits who've spoken to NetsDaily believe that Houston is likely to match and in fact, Motiejunas said he would be happy to return to the Rockets.

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But not everyone agrees. The 7-footer has had two back surgeries that hurt his value with Houston.

The question for the Nets is whether the offer sheet is big enough, long enough and filled with enough economic disincentives for Houston to pass on it. Kevin Pelton, writing for ESPN Insider, suggests that, financial considerations aside, Houston may not need Motiejunas and keeping him would limit their flexibility. He writes...

Houston matching this offer sheet is no sure thing. Between concerns about Motiejunas' back and the Rockets' obsessive desire to maintain flexibility, they may not want to want to tie up so much salary down the road.

The trade-off there is a fully guaranteed 2017-18 salary for Motiejunas that would swallow up most of the $10 million or so in projected cap space Houston can clear next summer. If the Rockets were eager to sacrifice that space, Motiejunas would already be wearing a Houston uniform. So my guess is, although this offer sheet is reasonable, the Rockets will probably decline to match.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey told ESPN’s Calvin Watkins he's not sure when the team will make a final decision regarding the offer sheet signed by Donatas Motiejunas on Friday. "I have to talk to the owner before we make a decision," Morey said Friday night.

Just as they did in July with offer sheets to Tyler Johnson of the Heat and Allen Crabbe of the Trail Blazers, the Nets will have to wait for the Rockets to pass or match. Houston apparently cannot engage the Nets in a sign-and-trade since under league rules, any free agent signed after November 23 can’t be traded. November 23 is 90 days before the February 23 trade deadline and free agents can’t be dealt for 90 days after signing.