Forward Donatas Motiejunas to Bolt Pelicans, Eyes Jazz, Spurs
Forward Donatas Motiejunas, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, announced that he will not return to the New Orleans Pelicans next season. Motiejunas said his style of play didn't fit the Pelicans, where he averaged just 4.4 points and 3.0 rebounds in 34 outings.
In an interview with Lithuanian basketball writer Donatas Urbonas, Motiejunas said the Pelicans are already loaded in the frontcourt with four to five big men in their roster next season. "I want to play for a team where I would be a good fit and which plays team basketball. The money will come later," Motiejunas said.
According to Motiejunas, he wants to play for a contender like the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards. He said those teams also expressed interest in signing him in the offseason. He is also willing to sign a one-year deal if the situation is right.
Motiejunas had a rocky year as a restricted free agent last season. He signed a four-year, $37 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets, per a report by NBC Sports. The offer was matched by the Houston Rockets but they voided the deal after Motiejunas failed to take a physical.
After a week, the Rockets pulled the qualifying offer and renounced his rights. Motiejunas later settled for a prorated minimum contract worth $576,724 with the Pelicans.
In a previous interview, Motiejunas called free agency as "one of the worst experiences of my life that I've had". It was reported that Motiejunas plans to sue the Rockets and the National Basketball Association (NBA) for his ordeal in free agency, Sporting News reported.
However, Motiejunas denied the report, saying the issue with the Rockets was already ironed out. "A month ago, we with the NBA Players Association and the Houston Rockets found an agreement and solved everything. There are no court proceedings between us. The information which was published on media is false," he said.
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