Farewell, draft pick. Welcome, D-Mo

You can read my original thoughts from the Rockets’ trade of Donatas Motiejunas to the Pistons here and here.  While I’m certainly happy to have D-Mo back, the bad news here is that this basically confirms Houston’s reasoning in trading Motiejunas in the first place.  Now two professional medical staffs have determined the 25-year-old’s back to pose too great a risk to attach long term financial obligations.  Barring an unexpected display of recovery, the Rockets likely let Motiejunas walk in the summer, except without getting the pick they had received in the trade.  The best case might be D-Mo playing well for this stretch run, and then re-signing with the team at a drastically reduced price due to the attached risk involved.  Who knows.  Will he even get minutes?  He’s purportedly been cleared (see: his stint with RGV), but this affair could present some awkward issues.  J.B. Bickerstaff had declared the other night that the team would close the season, barring injury, with Josh Smith at power forward, presumably to instill at least some degree of continuity.  Does that go out the window?  I don’t see Motiejunas ever starting here again, but if he’s to even get minutes at all, what becomes of Terrence Jones?  (Then again, before Jones’ own injury, he hadn’t been getting minutes himself).  And if the Rockets don’t play a medically cleared Motiejunas, in a contract year, I’m sure that too could get messy from other angles.

Two other points: had they known they wouldn’t be able to deal Motiejunas, the Rockets probably would have dumped Jones for the bag of Doritos or whatever his value had become, to duck the tax.  Now, that of course, is out the window too.  Secondly, Marcus Thornton, unless bought out, returns, and K.J. McDaniels again, presumably, is back on the bench and out of the rotation.  The effect of the deal on McDaniels’ playing time was the one return I was most excited about following this weekend.

The strangest season I can ever remember just keeps getting stranger.  As I stated above, Les Alexander is now also back stuck paying luxury tax for the most disappointing team in the league.  That can’t be exciting, though except for some hard cap concerns, it also is not my problem.

About the author: Rahat Huq is a lawyer in real life and the founder and editor-in-chief of www.Red94.net.

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