After a long restricted free agency, Donatas Motiejunas eventually signed a one-year deal with the New Orleans Pelicans when he became an unrestricted free agent.
Motiejunas signed a four-year, $37 million offer sheet with the Brooklyn Nets that was matched by the Houston Rockets, which ultimately fell apart.
“Honestly, you can say it was business stuff, but, from my side, I’m a basketball player, I just want to play,” Motiejunas said. “Being involved in that business situation, it was one of the worst experiences of my life that I’ve had. I would say, from any basketball player, we work every day, we put our sweat, we put our tears, we put our blood on the floor, try to help and make teams better, so when someone acts with you like this, it’s just wrong.”
Motiejunas was asked what he thought about losing a multi-year deal.
“The team lost an asset,” Motiejunas said. “I lost $37, 38 million, so both sides lost in this situation. No one won in this situation actually. I know, as soon as I step on the floor, the people are going to see that I’m the same guy that I was last year when I was playing. For me, I’m not going to lose anything. After this year, someone else is going to pick me up. I’m not worried about that. I know how to play basketball. I know how to make every and each team better. I adjust to the situation depending on what coach asks me to do, so I’m not worried about that. It was just a ridiculous situation, the resolution was taking too long, and it was affecting me as a player, and it was affecting me personally. Instead of being a business decision it was like more of a personal decision.”