There Are Better Options Than Motiejunas For Houston

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

There Are Better Options Than Motiejunas For Houston


It was evident Donatas Motiejunas wanted out of Houston after holding out on re-signing with the team and signing a four-year, $37 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets earlier this week. Stupidly, the Houston Rockets matched the Nets’ offer bringing the frustrated seven-footer back to the team. Motiejunas refused to report to his physical with the team, shoving his anger in Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey’s face. Houston’s options are to keep their first-refusal exercise notice open and wait for Motiejunas to report to his physical. If he doesn’t report, Houston can pull the offer Thursday and Motiejunas would become a restricted free agent. If they don’t pull the offer, it would expire automatically March 1 (ESPN). But why even toy with the headache of bringing a guy back who does not want to be with the team? For way less money than $37 million, Houston had many other options to sign at the center position and maybe still do. Sure, Motiejunas is a valuable big-man who averages 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game over his career, but they could get a center just as valuable on the free agent market.

A number of big men Houston has the ability to sign:


Chris Kaman

Chris Kaman, 34, last played for the Portland Trail Blazers in 2014-15 for just 16 games, but was a valuable piece off the bench in 2015-16 where he averaged 8.6 points and 6.5 rebounds on 52% shooting in 18.9 minutes per game. Kaman is a decent rebounder who has a nice mid-range jumper and is solid in the post.


Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins has been known as a tough guy on the defensive end ever since his days with the Boston Celtics. Though he has never been looked at as a scoring option on offense, his defensive presence to serve as an anchor in the paint and ability to rebound is valuable. The one-time NBA champion—who could mentor Clint Capela as his backup—last played with New Orleans in 2015-16, where he played in 37 games averaging 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per game.


Matt Costello

Finally, youth. Instead of Houston looking into veterans like Kaman or Perkins, Houston could turn to developing a young player. Matt Costello went undrafted in 2016 and was bouncing around team-to-team trying to fit in. He is now spending time with the Iowa Energy in the D-League where he is averaging an above-average 15.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Costello is something Houston could think about.


Quincy Acy

The high-energy Quincy Acy deserves another shot with an NBA team. Now a member of the Texas Legends of the D-League, Acy spent his first six seasons with four different teams. His 2014-15 season with New York was his best, where he averaged 5.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in 18.9 minutes per game—all career highs. Though he is only 6’7”—smaller than Houston’s other options—the Rockets should look into Acy. He rebounds just as good as a center, is athletic, and a great rim protector.



The Rockets pulled the $31 million offer sheet to power forward Donatas Motiejunas and Donatas signed a new 4-year, $35 million contract to remain with the Rockets.

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