Motiejūnas with the Houston Rockets in October 2013
|No. 20 – Houston Rockets|
|Position||Power forward / Center|
September 20, 1990 |
|Listed height||7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)|
|Listed weight||255 lb (116 kg)|
|NBA draft||2011 / Round: 1 / Pick: 20th overall|
|Selected by the Minnesota Timberwolves|
|2007–2008||Žalgiris Kaunas (Lithuania)|
|2008–2009||Aisčiai Kaunas (Lithuania)|
|2009–2012||Benetton Treviso (Italy)|
|2011–2012||→Asseco Prokom (Poland)|
|2012–2013||→Rio Grande Valley Vipers (D-League)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Stats at NBA.com|
|Stats at Basketball-Reference.com|
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). He was drafted 20th overall in the 2011 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves before going on to win the 2012 Polish Basketball League championship with Asseco Prokom Gdynia.
- 1 European career
- 2 NBA career
- 3 Career statistics
- 4 International career
- 5 Personal
- 6 References
- 7 External links
In 2005, Motiejūnas began his career playing with Žalgiris Kaunas' junior team, Žalgiris-Arvydas Sabonis school, who play in the Lithuanian National Basketball League. In 2007–08, he made his debut for the senior team in a Baltic League game against the ASK Riga. He scored 15 points in 22 minutes.
In 2008, Motiejūnas signed with Aisčiai Kaunas for the 2008–09 season where he went on to average 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.
In April 2010, Motiejūnas declared for the 2010 NBA draft, but later withdrew and returned to Benetton. He went on to win the 2011 Eurocup Rising Star award after helping Benetton reach the Eurocup 2010–11 Final Four, averaging 10.9 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
On June 23, 2011, Motiejūnas was selected with the 20th overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. The next day, his rights were traded, along with Jonny Flynn, to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Brad Miller and the draft rights to the 23rd overall pick, Nikola Mirotić. Due to the NBA lockout, Motiejūnas returned to Europe.
On September 22, 2011, Benetton loaned Motiejūnas to Asseco Prokom of Poland for the 2011–12 season. On December 7, 2011, he recorded 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). He also helped lead Asseco Prokom to a ninth consecutive PLK title in 2012. During the seventh and final game of the PLK Finals, he recorded 23 points and 11 rebounds.
Houston Rockets (2012–present)
On July 6, 2012, Motiejūnas signed four-year, rookie scale contract with the Houston Rockets and joined them for the 2012 NBA Summer League. In his summer league debut, he recorded 25 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. 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). Overall, he averaged 16.3 points and 7.8 rebounds in four games.
On November 14, 2012, Motiejūnas was assigned to Rio Grande Valley Vipers of the NBA Development League. In his D-League debut on November 23, he recorded 31 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steals. Two days later, he was recalled by the Rockets. He was later reassigned two more times throughout the season and in seven D-League games, he averaged 20.3 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. In 44 games for the Rockets, he averaged 5.7 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.
On October 30, 2013, the Rockets exercised their third-year team option on Motiejūnas' rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2014–15 season. As a result of a disappointing start to the 2013–14 season with little playing time, 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 went on to play 62 games for the Rockets while averaging 5.5 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.
In August 2014, Motiejūnas came under fire for comments made about his Rocket teammates James Harden and Dwight Howard, describing their relationship as "Hi & bye. They even eat separately from the team. Usually in some fast food place." The comments came in an interview with Lithuanian media. It was later revealed that Motiejūnas was misquoted in his comments due to an incorrect translation by Lithuanian media from Lithuanian to English.
On October 30, 2014, the Rockets exercised their fourth-year team option on Motiejūnas' rookie scale contract, extending the contract through the 2015–16 season. With Dwight Howard out for a string of 11 games during November and December, and Terrence Jones out for the majority of the first half of the season, Motiejūnas began to dominate in shaping a career-best season as he averaged 14.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game in Howard's 11-game absence. Then, even with Howard's return on December 13, Motiejūnas scored a then career-high 25 points on 11-of-19 shooting to help the Rockets defeat the Denver Nuggets, 108-96.
On January 30, 2015, Motiejūnas scored a career-high 26 points in a 93-87 win over the Boston Celtics. On March 27, he was ruled out for 1-2 weeks with lower back pain and tightness. Though, later it was announced that this injury will end his career-best season. Representing the Lithuanian national team was put on question as well, because the injury required surgery and months of rehabilitation. In his third NBA season Motiejūnas led the league in accurate shots made (53.4%) by playing through his back, outperforming such remarkable NBA big-men like Marc Gasol, Al Jefferson, Blake Griffin, Kevin Love and others. His biggest competitor in this was another Lithuania national team member Jonas Valančiūnas of Toronto Raptors (51.3%). Furthermore, he was named as 7th most universal big man, according to Bleacher report. Houston Chronicle gave him the highest possible grade for his performance.
|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|
Note: The Euroleague is not the only competition in which the player participated for the team during the season, he also played in domestic competition.
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 FIBA Europe 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. At the 2008 FIBA Europe Under-20 Championship, he averaged 11.2 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.
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."
- 2011 NBA Draft Results: Donatas Motiejunas Drafted By Timberwolves With No. 20 Pick
- Donatas Motiejūnas – Krepsinis.net (Lithuanian)
- MOTIEJUNAS, DONATAS – Euroleague.net
- Donato Motiejūno sezono statistika (Lithuanian)
- Another great signing by Benetton: Donatas Motiejunas
- Donatas Motiejunas has entered in NBA draft
- Motiejunas out of NBA draft, back to Benetton
- 2010-11 Eurocup Rising Star Trophy winner: Donatas Motiejunas, Benetton Bwin
- Rockets acquire guard Jonny Flynn
- Benetton Treviso loans Motiejunas to Prokom and signs Scalabrine
- Asseco Prokom lands Eurocup Rising Star Motiejunas
- Eurolygos rekordą pagerinęs Motiejūnas atvedė „Asseco Prokom“ į pirmą pergalę (video, statistika) (Lithuanian)
- Motiejūnas atvedė „Asseco Prokom“ iki Lenkijos čempionų titulo (Lithuanian)
- Rockets sign center Motiejunas to multiyear deal
- Summer League Diary Day One: Rockets vs. Raptors
- A Wolf Among Wolves; Donatas Motiejunas shines in his summer league debut
- 2012 Summer League Statistics – Donatas Motiejunas
- Rockets Launched: Houston Assigns Machado, Motiejunas to NBA D-League Affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers
- Houston Rockets recall Donatas Motiejunas from D-League
- Rockets recall Donatas Motiejunas from D-League again
- Rockets pick up options on Motiejunas, Jones
- Frustrated Motiejunas just wants to play
- Rockets' Motiejunas misquoted about Harden, Howard not eating with team
- Donatas Motiejunas sets record straight on Howard, Harden comments
- Rockets pick up fourth-year options on Terrence Jones, Donatas Motiejunas
- Donatas Motiejunas 2014-15 Game Log
- Howard, Harden lead Rockets over Nuggets, 108-96
- Motiejunas scores 26, Rockets top Celtics for 4th win in row
- Rockets PF Donatas Motiejunas sidelined for 1-2 weeks with back pain
- Houston Rockets lose Donatas Motiejunas for season with back injury
- D.Motiejūno žaidimas Lietuvos rinktinėje pakibo ant plauko? (Lithuanian)
- Paaiškėjo statistinis rodiklis, pagal kurį abu lietuviai NBA neturėjo lygių (Lithuanian)
- "D.Motiejūnas pripažintas septintu geriausiu NBA universaliu aukštaūgiu". Krepsinis.net; Bleacher report. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
- Feigen, Jonathan. "Rockets report card: Grading the 2014-15 roster". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 28 May 2015.
- MOTIEJUNAS MVP, TWO GREEKS IN ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
- Donatas Motiejunas's profile – FIBA.com
- Rockets Assign Duo to NBA D-League
- Donatas Motiejūnas Houston Rockets Talk
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Donatas Motiejūnas.|
- Career statistics and player information from NBA.com, or Basketball-Reference.com
- NBA Draft Profile
- Euroleague.net Profile
- DraftExpress.com Profile
- LegaBasket.it Profile
- NBADraft.net Profile
- BasketNews.lt Profile
- Krepsinis.net Profile