The Brooklyn Nets could be on the verge of improving their basketball team. The Nets will do so after signing restricted free agent forward Donatas Motiejunas away from the Houston Rockets. If the Brooklyn Nets successfully add Motiejunas, they will likely pair him up with center Brook Lopez, forming a solid duo in the frontcourt.
Donatas Motiejunas is expected to sign an offer sheet handed by the Nets within the next 24 hours, according to Yahoo Sports‘ Adrian Wojnarowski. The Rockets will then have 72 hours to either match the Nets’ offer, or let him leave as a free agent.
Information regarding Motiejinas’ status with the Houston Rockets was reported by Inquisitr after the Rockets missed the deadline to sign him to a contract agreement. Failure to sign Motiejunas prior to a November 23 deadline took an option off the table for Houston. The Rockets cannot trade him in an effort to receive something in return. That may come back to haunt them, while putting the Nets in an enviable position.
The Brooklyn Nets are one of just a small number of NBA teams with at least $8 million in cap room. According to Sportrac, the Nets have a staggering $18 million left to spend. That puts them in a position to virtually outbid the Rockets, who are over the salary cap.
What the Nets are going to offer Motiejunas remains to be seen. One can guarantee that Brooklyn will give the forward a contract tender worth more than the two-year, $14 million offer the Rockets the pulled off the table on November 23.
Donatas Motiejunas, understanding his value around the NBA, was not going to accept such a low-ball deal. And his decision, coupled with the Rockets concluding that they would be better off waiting to see what inquiries he receives, is why everything has come to this.
The Nets could conceivably hand Motiejunas a four-year, $50 million offer. An average annual salary of $12.5 million should provide a good feel for what he is worth to the Nets and other NBA teams. Getting that much or more from the Nets would be a win-win for everyone but the Houston Rockets.
It is not as if the Rockets cannot match whatever the Nets are willing to give Motiejunas. There are too many signs that have suggested that the Rockets have minimal interest in bringing him back. Will the Rockets decide to hang on to Motiejunas if the Nets sign him to an offer sheet worth $40 million or more? Not likely. As long as the Nets want Motiejunas, and are willing to cut into at least half of their cap room to sign him, he will be bound for Brooklyn.
Donatas Motiejunas is good, though not a perfect fit for the Brooklyn Nets. Defense is one of the skill sets he will have to improve on. Effort is not an issue. Lateral quickness and overall strength is.
Potentially playing in the Eastern Conference for the Nets is assuredly going to force Motiejunas to guard stronger players. It is evident that the NBA game has changed, but basketball in the Eastern Conference is brutal. Physicality comes from all positions.
One of the most physical divisions in all of the NBA is the Atlantic Division. The Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, and Toronto Raptors each play physical. Throw in the budding frontcourt of the Philadelphia 76ers and you will have a cacophony of low post players Motiejunas will have to help the Nets guard.
On offense is where Motiejunas would truly help the Brooklyn Nets.
Donatas Motiejunas can stretch the floor, which will open things up for not only Brook Lopez, but point guard Jeremy Lin and the emerging Sean Kilpatrick. Teams have to respect Motiejunas’ shooting touch, leaving his teammates to benefit from receiving better scoring opportunities.
Do the Brooklyn Nets view Motiejunas as a potential star?
The hope is that the Nets would view him as a building block, not a star player. Anything that would resemble the latter would create some unnecessary expectations. Motiejunas has not had an NBA training camp. Time would be required for him and the Nets to get used to each other. All of this does not mean that he would not work out, but it will take awhile.
Donatas Motiejunas is about to become a member of the Brooklyn Nets. That is unless the Houston Rockets surprise everyone by choosing to match the Nets’ offer. Expect a multi-year offer sheet worth at least $40 million. Chances are high that the Brooklyn Nets will view Donatas Motiejunas as a potential part of their core.
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