Okay, first things first: it doesn’t appear that there is any way Donatas Motiejunas can join the Nets. So that prospect is dead.
But if you enjoy NBA melodrama, you have found the right place. When we last left the scene, the Rockets had matched the Nets’ four-year, $37 million offer sheet. Under league rules, he would have to return to Houston.
Then, this morning, Motiejunas was supposed to show up for his physical, and once that was done, sign the deal ... and receive an upfront payment of $5 million. But oh no, he didn’t show! After waiting a couple of hours, word got out and everyone went scurrying for their copies of the collective bargaining agreement.
Here, according to Adrian Wojnarowski, is where things stand...
If Motiejunas continues to stay away, the Rockets have two options: leave open the current agreement and wait him out, or cancel the deal and return Motiejunas to restricted free agency. Under league rules, the Nets are unable to sign Motiejunas for a full year.
Under the CBA, Motiejunas has two days to report. It appears, he will stay away. B.J. Armstong, Motiejunas’ agent, told Woj, “We won’t be reporting.”
He was more forthcoming when talking with Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.
"We have our rights," Armstrong said. "We're not going to show up. We'll see what happens. We'll see what the Rockets do. We have our rights."
Asked by Feigen what Motiejunas hopes the Rockets choose, Armstrong said, "We'll see. We'll see what they do."
Making the situation even more mystifying is that three days ago, after receiving the Nets offer sheet, Motiejunas said he’d be happy with either team, the Rockets or the Nets. So what changed?
Apparently, the Rockets don’t believe they are bound by the Nets promise of incentive bonuses, making the value of the contract $31 million over four, rather than $37 million.
Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas says the Nets were one of two teams interested in Motiejunas, but Brooklyn’s offer was more lucrative. Now, the question is whether that other club will move on Motiejunas ... if the Raptors void his deal.
According to every expert on the CBA, they are out of the picture for a year. Moreover, any contact with Motiejunas at this point could be seen as evidence of tampering, which the league takes very seriously ... and could result in the loss of draft picks (if the Nets had any).
Not only are the Nets ineligible to pursue him, it’s hard to imagine them wanting in on this even if they were. The Nets have a character standard and after this, it’s hard to imagine Motiejunas now meeting that bar.
- Donatas Motiejunas refuses to reports to the Rockets - Adrian Wojnarowski - The Vertical
- Rockets' Donatas Motiejunas fails to show up for physical - Jonathan Feigen - Houston Chronicle
- What is Motiejunas doing? - Larry Coon - CBA FAQ
- Donatas Motiejunas no-shows his physical after Rockets match $37 million contract - Kristian Winfield - SB Nation
- Report: Donatas Motiejunas no-shows physical after Rockets match Nets’ offer - Dan Feldman - NBC Sports
- Young and restless, Donatas Motiejunas’s soap opera with the Rockets continues - Tim Bontemps - Washington Post
- Donatas Motiejunas wait continues for Rockets - Calvin Watkins- ESPN