Motiejunas might skip NT due to contract uncertainty
The third attempt by Donatas Motiejunas to make the national team is under a question mark. Lithuanian forward expects to sign a contract with the Houston Rockets this summer but due to NBA rules he would risk losing the contract in case of an injury.
Motiejunas was the 20th overall pick by Minnesota Timberwolves in 2011 NBA Draft but the T-Wolves traded him to Houston Rockets.
The player decided to spend one more year in Europe before moving to the NBA. After two seasons in Italy with Benetton Treviso, Motiejunas made a move to Asseco Prokom in order to have an opportunity to play in Euroleague.
The 21-year-old native of Kaunas enjoyed a successful season in Poland as he was given a key role in his new team bu the coach Tomas Pacesas, a fellow Lithuanian.
Motiejunas averaged 12.5 points and 7.9 rebounds a game in Euroleague this season in 31 minutes of play. His performances increased his chances of making the final cut and making an official debut with the national team.
Lithuania coach Kestutis Kemzura has already invited Motiejunas twice to the training camp. Though in both cases he was among the last players to be cut.
Even though this year the chances for him to be selected to the final roster of the national team are as high as ever, the contract issues might force the player to say no to the national team.
According to NBA regulations, the teams are allowed to sign new player only after July 1st. This date is of great significance since Lithuania will start competing for a place in London Olympics on the 2nd of July.
It means that while Motiejunas is under contract only his health can insured but not the contract which is not signed yet. If the player decides to play for his country, he would risk losing the contract with Houston Rockets in case of an injury.
Lithuanian national team will hold a training camp in Houston which could make things easier. In addition, former Lithania international Arturas Karnisovas works for the Houston Rocket as an international scout. Karnisovas declared that the Rockets want Motiejunas in their roster next season.