Houston Rockets renounce rights to Donatas Motiejunas

Fran Blinebury

The twists and turns in the long-running saga to get Donatas Motiejunas signed to a new contract have finally brought the Rockets to the end of the road.

The team has renounced its rights to the 7-foot forward and now Motiejunas will become an unrestricted free agent.

The club issued a statement:

Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that after extensive discussions with Donatas Motiejunas, his representatives, and the NBA league office, the Rockets will renounce Motiejunas and he will become an unrestricted free agent.

“Donatas was a true professional throughout his four seasons with the Rockets,” said Morey. “We wish Donatas the best moving forward and want to thank him for his contributions both on the court and in the community.”

<block>The 20th pick in the 2011 draft, Motiejunas averaged 7.8 points and 2.9 rebounds in his four seasons with the Rockets. He had highs of 12 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in the 2014-15 season, but suffered an injury and underwent two surgeries on his back.

Motiejunas became a restricted free agent on July 1, but did not draw real interest until the Nets signed him to an offer sheet on Dec. 2 worth $37 million over four seasons. The Rockets matched the offer sheet and expected the forward to report to the team. But he balked when the team matched only the principle terms of the deal worth $31 million. A compromise was reached that would have paid Motiejunas $35 million, but then another snag arose, leading to the Rockets simply giving up their rights.