Donatas Motiejunas
Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas (20) controls the ball during the second quarter as Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph (50) defends at Toyota Center. Reuters/ Troy Taormina

The Houston Rockets are still licking their wounds after an embarrassing blowout loss to the San Antonio Spurs, a surprise ending to the surging ballclub. The season may be over but general manager Daryl Morey will have to deal with another row involving former player Donatas Motiejunas.

Motiejunas wore the Rockets jersey from 2012 to 2016 before becoming a restricted free agent. He received a four-year US$37 million (AU$27 million) contract offer sheet from the Brooklyn Nets which Houston thereafter matched, ESPN reports.

The Rockets made some iterations to the deal, which involved taking out some of the incentives from the Nets. That pulled down the contract value to US$31 million (AU$23 million), thus the dispute.

Both sides did try to work something out, and it initially seemed workable. Motiejunas reported to Houston for a physical examination, but things went astray when the Rockets renounced their right, thus leaving the Lithuanian an unrestricted free agent.

From there, Motiejunas eventually ended with his current team, the New Orleans Pelicans, but ended up with a veteran’s minimum salary. Going by the numbers, millions were lost, which is what led to the legal row.

According to the Bleacher Report, a settlement is expected to be made soon. Motiejunas hardly made an impression with the Pelicans and is set to become an unrestricted free agent this July. The Lithuanian is still young at 27, and teams could try him out. As far as the financial package goes, such is anyone’s guess.

For the Rockets, it adds to an unfortunate end to their 2016-17 NBA season. After a surging run, the Rockets came to a disappointing stop against the Spurs.

As covered in a previous post, James Harden took the blame after turning in a disappointing performance. The Rockets star player could only turn in 10 points and 7 assists, taking only 11 shots in 37 minutes.

Harden praised the Spurs for their defense on him, shutting him down effectively. It was a disappointing end to a magical season for the “Bearded One,” although general manager Daryl Morey opts to look at what the MVP candidate has done this season for Houston.

"Obviously he had a tough game, but to me it's a joke to get on him because we're not where we are ... without James," Morey said. "The guy that's hardest on James is James. Everyone's disappointed, but he's No. 1."