clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Motiejunas Heading Back To Italy

The lockout has already claimed its first casualty with the announcement Friday that the 20th overall pick in the 2011 draft Lithuanian forward Donatas Montiejunas will head back to Italy. The 7-footer will rejoin Benetton Treviso, his former team, who he still has a contract with.

↵

Montiejunas also said that he doesn't expect a problem leaving the team if the lockout is ended. Of course, he's also debating whether it makes sense to sign a contract that would run through next season, as most of the major European teams are considering signing players to lucrative contracts that don't allow players to leave with the end of the lockout.

↵

It's a Catch-22 for a young player like Montiejunas. The lockout started before the Rockets were able to extend him or any of their rookies qualifying offers. That means they're not technically part of the team. The NBA has also said that teams will have the right to void any contract of a player injured while playing for another team during the lockout, so for a player like Montiejunas, he's taking a chance just by playing.

↵

However, he's young enough that he still needs development time. He can't really afford to miss time, but he also can't get injured. I know that's a decision I don't want to make, so I can imagine how tough it is for him.

↵

Images by eflon used in background images under a Creative Commons license. Thank you.