VILNIUS – Donatas Motiejunas is heading to China, as 15min.lt reported that the 7-foot Lithuanian has signed a contract worth $3 million to play for the Shangdong Golden Stars next season.
Motiejunas signed a deal with the New Orleans Pelicans in early January, but didn’t earn much playing time after the club acquired DeMarcus Cousins in a February trade. Motiejunas averaged 4.4 points over the 34 games he appeared in.
The 26-year-old big man previously spent his entire NBA career suiting up for the Rockets. In May, he took legal action against the club following a bizarre contract situation.
He signed an offer sheet to become a member of the Brooklyn Nets on a four-year deal worth $35 million in December, giving Houston the opportunity to match. Rather than let Motiejunas walk from the franchise, the Rockets agreed to bring him back, but made adjustments to the deal he agreed to with Brooklyn.
The Rockets originally attempted to cut ties with the 7-footer by way of a trade to the Detroit Pistons in a three-team deal in February 2016. Nine days after he was traded, he was back with the team, having failed a physical, which led to his return to Houston.
Motiejunas first entered the NBA after he was taken with the 20th overall selection in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves and was shipped out to Houston the next day, where he spent the first four years of his career.
Over his career in the NBA, he has averaged 7.4 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.1 assists per outing thus far.