Players > Monaco > Donatas Motiejunas
Donatas Motiejunas
PF/C - 7'0, 220lbs - 33 years old - 6 years of NBA experience
Monaco - Signed with Monaco
  • Birthdate: 09/20/1990
  • Drafted (NBA): 20th pick, 2011
  • Pre-draft team: Benetton Treviso (Italy)
  • Country: Lithuania
  • Hand: Left
  • Agent: Chris Emens/Omar Wilkes (Octagon)/Tadas Bulotas (BBaltics)
29th August, 2008LithuaniaSigned a one year contract with Aisciai Kaunas.
7th August, 2009ItalySigned a three year contract with Benetton Treviso.
2011 NBA DraftNBADrafted 20th overall by Minnesota.
24th June, 2011NBADraft rights traded by Minnesota, along with Jonny Flynn and a 2012 second round pick (#40, Will Barton), to Houston in exchange for Brad Miller, the draft rights to Nikola Mirotic (#23) and a 2013 first round pick (#26, Andre Roberson).
24th September, 2011PolandLoaned by Benetton Treviso to Asseco Prokom for one season.
3rd July, 2012NBASigned four year, $6,556,245 rookie scale contract with Houston. Included team options for 2014/15 and 2015/16.
14th November, 2012D-LeagueAssigned by Houston to Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League.
25th November, 2012D-LeagueRecalled by Houston from Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League.
14th December, 2012D-LeagueAssigned by Houston to Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League.
15th December, 2012D-LeagueRecalled by Houston from Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League.
22nd January, 2013D-LeagueAssigned by Houston to Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League.
28th January, 2013D-LeagueRecalled by Houston from Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the D-League.
30th October, 2013NBAHouston exercised 2014/15 team option.
30th October, 2014NBAHouston exercised 2015/16 team option.
18th February, 2016NBATraded by Houston, along with Marcus Thornton, to Detroit in exchange for Joel Anthony and a 2016 first round pick (not conveyed; see below).
22nd February, 2016NBATrade voided.
2nd December, 2016NBASigned a partially guaranteed four year, $37 million offer sheet with Brooklyn.
9th December, 2016NBAOffer sheet voided.
3rd January, 2017NBASigned a guaranteed minimum salary contract for the remainder of the season with New Orleans.
7th August, 2017ChinaSigned a one year contract with Shandong.
14th June, 2018ChinaSigned another one year contract with Shandong.
4th April, 2019NBASigned a guaranteed minimum salary contract for the remainder of the season with San Antonio.
Career Moves
2005 - June 2008Zalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)
August 2008 - June 2009Aisciai Kaunas (Lithuania)
August 2009 - September 2011Benetton Treviso (Italy)
September 2011 - June 2012Asseco Prokom Gdynia (Poland)
July 2012 - June 2016Houston Rockets (NBA)
January 2017 - June 2017New Orleans Pelicans (NBA)
August 2017 - April 2019Shandong (China)
April 2019 - presentSan Antonio Spurs (NBA)
Articles about Donatas Motiejunas

June 29, 2017

Donatas Motiejunas
PF/C, 7’0, 222lbs, 26 years old, 5 years of experience

This was not a good season for Motiejunas, which started with injury, which then led to the contractual mess, and ended up on the bench for the Pelicans, from which he struggled. Never a rebounder or defender on the interior, Motiejunas needs to make his place in the league that as one of a focal point scorer, yet it did not happen this year. He shot his usual completely binary mixture of three-pointers and hook shots, but the threes didn’t go in (which is the norm), and neither did the hook shots. Ultimately, Motiejunas has never had that good of touch on any kind of shots, despite his routinely high billing. He is neither strong nor fast, and while his defensive effort has improved over his career, the results are barely any different. He’s just going to have to start making shots, or he’ll fall out of the league.

Player Plan: Expiring minimum salary contract. Didn’t earn another one with that play.

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June 25, 2011

Pick 20: With their second pick of the night, the Timberwolves draft Donatas Motiejunas from Benetton Treviso, the last truly talented truly big player remaining. Inevitably, though, before the pick is announced officially, the internet carries news that the pick will be traded to Houston. The details take some time to put together - ultimately, however, the final deal reads Brad Miller, the #23 and a future first round pick to Minnesota in exchange for the #20 and Jonny Flynn.

Between Flynn, and the recently acquired duo of Terrence Williams and Hasheem Thabeet, it appears as though Houston now deals solely in reclamation projects. And Yao Ming is not one of them. At least they get the young big man they have long coveted.

(Miller is out indefinitely after surgery and is pretty much a trade filler/funny bench jokes specialist. He'll not contribute much as a player, will be waived next summer, and may even retire. Essentially, Jonny Flynn was traded for a future pick.)

I'd try to express how bad Motiejunas is defensively, but you simply would not believe me. Fran Frascilla does a pretty good job of it, though, when he calls Motiejunas a "conscientious objector on the glass." This phrase would work in popular usage.

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June 24, 2011

Donatas Motiejunas - Motiejunas is amongst the worst defenders in this class. For all his offensive talent - and there's rather a lot of it - Motiejunas simply does not compete offensively. He is not quite as bad as Renardo Sidney, for no one is as bad as Renardo Sidney, but Motjienuas is guilty of the same problems. To put it bluntly, he just stands there, maybe going as far as clumsily reaching for the player driving past him, but making little effort to move his feet or stay in front. He also just doesn't box out. Bumpy has plenty of impact defensively, but it's all negative.

Of course, the above is also a description of Andrea Bargnani, another Benetton a prodigy. And, for all his faults and complete lack of awareness of his place in the overall scheme of things, Bargnani is at least a 20ppg scorer in the NBA. With this in mind, someone will take Donatas anyway. Considering his talent level in a draft so short of talent, you can understand and defend it if a teams takes him and waits for the day that the light comes on.

It won't, though. He doesn't get it and he doesn't want it.

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April 15, 2011

[...] The offensive compliment to the Brunner/Skinner combination is Donatas Motiejunas, who is in the midst of his career best season. That is not to say it's a particularly good season - Motty still floats around at times, looks only to score, commits lazy fouls on defense, and thinks he's Troy Murphy. But it's better - on the Eurocup season thus far, Motiejunas averages 10.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in 26 minutes per game. [Note: Foul rates, turnover numbers and shooting percentages not listed in transparent attempt to be favourable.]

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April 1, 2010

[...] In the [169 to 29] Benetton win over Napoli mentioned above in Kevin Kruger's entry, Kus played 17 minutes off the bench and scored 21 points on 7-10 three pointers. Furthermore, draft prospect Donatas Motiejunas played all 40 minutes and recorded 32 points, 21 rebounds and 6 steals. He outrebounded Napoli on his own.

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