Donatas Motiejūnas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Donatas Motiejūnas
Donatas Motiejunas and Hasheem Thabeet.jpg
Motiejūnas with the Rockets
No. 20 – Houston Rockets
Position Power forward / Center
League NBA
Personal information
Born (1990-09-20) September 20, 1990 (age 23)
Kaunas, Lithuania
Nationality Lithuanian
Listed height 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
Listed weight 222 lb (101 kg)
Career information
NBA draft 2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20th overall
Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves
Pro career 2007–present
Career history
2005–2007 Žalgiris-Arvydas Sabonis school
2007–2008 Žalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)
2008–2009 Aisčiai Kaunas (Lithuania)
2009–2011 Benetton Treviso (Italy)
2011–2012 Asseco Prokom (Poland)
2012–present Houston Rockets
2012–2013 Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League)
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
Stats at

Donatas Motiejūnas (Lithuanian pronunciation: ​[d̪ɔˈn̪äːt̪ɐs̪ moːtʲiəˈjûːn̪ɐs̪]; born September 20, 1990) is a Lithuanian professional basketball player who currently plays for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Motiejūnas was selected 20th overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.[1]

European career[edit]

Donatas Motiejūnas with Benetton Treviso

Motiejūnas began his career playing with the youth team Arvydas Sabonis School of Kaunas.[2] He made his professional debut with Žalgiris Kaunas in a Baltic League game against the ASK Riga. He scored 15 points in 22 minutes.[3]

Motiejūnas helped Žalgiris Kaunas win a Baltic Championship, a Lithuanian Championship and a Lithuanian Cup. He averaged 5.6 points in 10.1 minutes per game in the Baltic League.[4]

He signed with Aisčiai Kaunas in 2008. With Aisčiai, he averaged 19.9 points and 7.0 rebounds in 29.3 minutes per game, and he scored a season-high 29 points in a Lithuanian League game against Nevėžis on March 22, 2009.[5]

He moved to the Italian League club Benetton Treviso in August 2009.[6] There, he got off to a great start, scoring 18 and 21 points in two friendly matches against other European clubs. In 2011, Motiejūnas won the Eurocup Rising Star award after helping his team Benetton Treviso reach the Eurocup 2010–11 Final Four, averaging 10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 0.9 steals, and 4.4 fouls drawn per game.[7]

In September 2011, he signed a contract with Prokom Gdynia of the Polish League for one season.[8] On December 7, 2011, he grabbed a career high 21 rebounds (18 defensive) against Union Olimpija, the most defensive rebounds in a Euroleague game in the Euroleague Basketball era (2000–01 season onwards).[9] He also helped to lead Prokom Gdynia to a ninth consecutive PLK title in a row in 2012. During the seventh and final game of the PLK Finals, he scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.[10]

NBA career[edit]

Donatas Motiejūnas defending Jeff Withey in 2013

He was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the 20th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, but was traded in a package with Jonny Flynn to the Houston Rockets for Brad Miller and Nikola Mirotić (the 23rd overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft). Because of his difficult first and last name for foreigners, Motiejūnas was called D-Mo by Kevin McHale at the first Houston Rockets press conference. Since Motiejūnas chose to play in European basketball for the following season, his rights were held by the Rockets.

On July 6, 2012, Motiejūnas signed a four-year deal worth $4.23 million with the Houston Rockets.[11] In his first game as a Houston Rockets member in the NBA Summer League he played 25 minutes and scored 25 points (FG: 11/13, including 2 three-pointers), grabbed 9 rebounds, made two steals, two assists and one block.[12] After the game, he quoted a famous Lithuanian idiom describing his debut: "Jeigu bijai vilko – neik į mišką" (English: If you're scared of wolves, don't go into the woods).[13] Overall, he averaged 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds per game in the Summer League, shooting 62% from the field in 25 minutes of game action.[14]

On November 14, 2012, Motiejūnas was assigned to the NBA D-League.[15] He played two games as a Viper. In his debut game against Bakersfield Jam, he scored 31 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and recorded three assists.[16] During his second game he scored 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, recorded three assists and led his team to the first victory of the season.[17]

Following his second game, the Rockets announced that they would be bringing Motiejūnas back into the NBA.[18] He was reassigned to the Vipers on December 14, 2012,[19] and recalled on December 18, 2012.[20] On January 22, 2013, he was reassigned to the Vipers once again.[21] He was recalled on January 28, 2013.[22]

On October 30, 2013, the Rockets exercised its 2014–15 option on Motiejūnas' contract.[23] So far in the 2013–14 season, he has played 19 games averaging 2.9ppg and 1.9rpg.[24] As a result of a disappointing start to the season, Motiejūnas said: “When you give everything you got, you want to get something back and we are not getting for a long time. It’s really not easy to just sit and watch when others are playing. I try to stay positive. I try to help the team. I try to be productive in practices. That’s all I can do. That’s all that is in my power and other things are not in my power so I can not be worried about those things.” He also stated that his agent Arn Tellem is working with Rockets GM Daryl Morey to find a place where he can play.[25]

Recently came under fire for comments made about his Rocket teammate's (James Harden & Dwight Howard), "Hi & bye. They even eat separately from the team. Usually in some fast food place." The comments came in an interview with Lithuanian media on August 7, 2014.[26]

Career statistics[edit]

  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  PIR  Performance Index Rating
 Bold  Career high


2007–08 Žalgiris Kaunas 3 0 7.2 .200 .000 1.000 2.7 .0 .0 .0 1.3 1.3
2011–12 Asseco Prokom 10 10 31.3 .436 .304 .455 7.9 .9 .6 .8 12.5 13.7
Career 13 10 25.7 .426 .292 .486 6.7 .7 .5 .6 9.9 10.8


Regular season[edit]

2012–13 Houston 44 14 12.2 .455 .289 .627 2.1 .7 .2 .2 5.7
2013–14 Houston 62 3 15.4 .443 .250 .604 3.6 .5 .3 .3 5.5
Career 106 17 14.1 .448 .269 .612 3.0 .6 .3 .3 5.6


2012–13 Houston 1 0 5.0 1.000 .000 1.000 1.0 .0 .0 .0 5.0
Career 1 0 5.0 1.000 .000 1.000 1.0 .0 .0 .0 5.0

Lithuanian national team[edit]

Motiejūnas was a part of the Lithuanian Under-16, Under-18, and Under-20 junior national teams. With Lithuania's junior national teams, he played at the 2006 FIBA Europe Under-16 Championship, both the 2007 and 2008 FIBA Europe Under-18 Championships, the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, and the 2009 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship.

He led Lithuania's junior national team to the silver medal at the 2008 Under-18 Championship. Despite losing to Greece's junior national team in the gold medal game, he was named the MVP of the tournament, after averaging 18.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per game.[27] At the 2008 Under-20 Championship, he averaged 11.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.[28]

In 2013, he won a silver medal at the FIBA EuroBasket tournament.

Personal life[edit]

Motiejūnas has a large tattoo on his chest of an eagle clutching a basketball. He explained, "I really like the attitudes of eagles. They never give up. When they grab a fish or something else, they never let it go."[29][30]


  1. ^ Mock Draft. (English)
  2. ^ Donatas Motiejunas: Miscellaneous (English)
  3. ^ – Donatas Motiejūnas. (Lithuanian)
  4. ^ Donatas Motiejunas Player Profile At[dead link]
  5. ^ Donato Motiejūno sezono statistika (Lithuanian)
  6. ^ Another great signing by Benetton: Donatas Motiejunas. (English)
  7. ^ Motiejūnas Eurocup Rising Star. (English)
  8. ^ Asseco Prokom lands Eurocup Rising Star Motiejunas. (English)
  9. ^ Donatas Motiejūnas improved Euroleague defensive rebounds record. (Lithuanian)
  10. ^ Donatas Motiejūnas led Prokom Gdynia to ninth consecutive PLK title (Lithuanian)
  11. ^ Motiejunas signs with Rockets, will play summer league (English)
  12. ^ Motiejunas debuted as a Houston Rockets member (English)
  13. ^ Motiejūnas: If you're scared of wolves, don't go in the woods (English)
  14. ^ Donatas Motiejunas profile (English)
  15. ^ Rockets Launched: Houston Assigns Machado, Motiejunas to NBA D-League Affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers (English)
  16. ^ Donatas Motiejunas debuted in Vipers (Lithuanian)
  17. ^ Motiejūnas led Vipers to the first season victory (Lithuanian)
  18. ^ Rockets Recall Motiejunas and Machado (English)
  19. ^ Houston Rockets Re-Assign Donatas Motiejunas and Terrence Jones to NBA D-League Affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers (English)
  20. ^ Rockets recall Donatas Motiejunas from D-League (English)
  21. ^ Houston Rockets Re-Assign Donatas Motiejunas to NBA D-League Affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers (English)
  22. ^ Rockets recall Donatas Motiejunas from D-League again (English)
  23. ^ Rockets Pick Up Options On Jones, Motiejunas
  24. ^ Donatas Motiejunas NBA & ABA Stats
  25. ^ Frustrated Motiejunas just wants to play
  26. ^ [1]
  27. ^ Motiejunas MVP, Two Greeks In All-Tournament Team[dead link]
  28. ^ Donatas Motiejunas (2008 FIBA Under-20 Championship) (English)
  29. ^ Welcome to Draft Diary XV (page 2 of 2) (English)
  30. ^ Donatas Motiejūnas Houston Rockets Talk (English)

External links[edit]