Houston Rockets sign Donatas MotiejunasPosted by Inside Hoops
Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey announced today that the team has signed former first-round pick Donatas Motiejunas to a multi-year contract. Selected 20th overall by Minnesota in the 2011 NBA Draft, Houston acquired the draft rights to the Lithuanian forward/center from the Timberwolves on June 24, 2011.
Motiejunas (7-0, 222, Lithuania, pronounced doh-NAH-tahs moe-tee-YOU-nus) played this past season with Polish League champion Asseco Prokom Gdynia, averaging 15.7 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.35 steals in just over 26 minutes per game during the 2011-12 campaign. In Game Seven of the Polish League Finals, Motiejunas recorded game highs in points (23) and rebounds (11) while leading his club to the title. On December 7, 2011, Motiejunas pulled down a career-high 21 boards against Union Olimpija, as his 18 defensive rebounds were the most in a Euroleague game in the ULEB era (since 2000-01).
An early entry candidate for the 2011 NBA Draft, Motiejunas played with Italy’s Benetton Treviso from 2009-11 and was the winner of the 2010-11 Eurocup Rising Star Trophy for the best U-23 player in the ULEB’s Eurocup competition. In 2008-09, Motiejunas played with Aisciai Kaunas and earned All-Star honors in Lithuania’s top league. He spent 2005-07 playing exclusively for Zalgiris-Sabonio mokykla Kaunas, which is Zalgiris Kaunas’ junior team in Lithuania’s second division. Motiejunas made his debut with the senior team in 2007-08, while splitting time with the junior squad. He also represented Lithuania in Junior National Team competition. His honors included MVP of the 2008 Nike International Junior Tournament and MVP of the 2008 U-18 European Championship. Motiejunas was also a member of the World Select Team at the 2009 Nike Hoop Summit, tallying 21 points (5-15 FG, 10-14 FT), eight rebounds and three assists.