Rocket Donatas Motiejunas On “Hi & Bye” Relations With Howard & Harden

By: 08.08.14
Donatas Montiejunas

Donatas Montiejunas (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Rockets 7-foot forward/center Donatas Motiejunas, D-Mo, spoke earlier this summer about former teammate Chandler Parsons and questioned whether Parsons was worth the near-max offer sheet Parsons signed with Dallas. He also wondered whether James Harden would be comfortable as the third-highest paid player in Houston. Now he’s sounding off on his current — cornerstone — teammates, Dwight Howard and Harden while praising former teammate Jeremy Lin.

While speaking with Lithuanian journalist Simonas Baranauskas — D-Mo is Lithuanian, if it wasn’t already clear — he said that Harden and Howard kept themselves separate from the team, and even ate apart from their teammates, preferring to indulge in fast foot:

Despite his comments about Parsons, Howard and Harden, Motiejunas sang the praises of former teammate Jeremy Lin, who was dealt to the Lakers in a cost-cutting move earlier this summer. D-Mo said he got along best with Lin, who had been very supportive of him despite his lack of playing time and a brief demotion to Houston’s D-League affiliate.

Montiejunas had requested a trade in January because of the playing time issues after getting stuck behind Howard and Omer Asik. At the time, the Rockets reached out to potential suitors with no one biting on the lean 7-footer.

So far, Montiejunas is still a Rocket, despite all his public comments about teammates and former teammates. The Rockets have lefty Terrence Jones on the roster at the four, but they’ve picked up their team option on D-Mo for next season, and after trading Asik to the Pellies, they need someone to spell Howard.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey spoke about D-Mo in a Q&A with Clutch Fans in January, right after he asked to be traded. Also, in terms of the veracity of his comments, keep in mind during the same interview Morey claimed Asik would remain in Houston throughout the length of his contract:

“Teams are opportunistic. Any player that other teams like and think is good and that’s not playing, generally that’s who you get calls on. We’ve gotten a lot of calls on Donatas because he’s a mobile 7-footer with offensive skill. He’s not a perfect player, but because he wasn’t playing, teams are like ‘Maybe we can get him on the cheap’.We believe in him. I expect him to be here. The reality is, it’s very hard to get a 7-footer who can play as well as him on a $1 million contract.”

We’re not sure how Motiejunas’ public comments about current teammates will go over in Houston if he’s still with the team next season. He’s Lithuanian, so his ability to assimilate with an American squad was tricky to begin with. Compound that with his anger over the lack of playing time, plus the comments about Howard and Harden, and it could be an uncomfortable 2014-15 campaign for him if Morey can’t find some team to take him while getting a reliable backup center for Howard in return.

What do you think?

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