After his fallout with the Houston Rockets, Donatas Montiejunas is signing a one-year deal worth $1.1 million with the New Orleans Pelicans. Montiejunas, who has primarily served as a back-up throughout his career, will likely split time while coming off the bench for Anthony Davis at power forward and Omer Asik at center.
The Pelicans are in the process of finalizing a one-year deal with Donatas Motiejunas at the veteran minimum, according to league sources.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 1, 2017
Throughout the first four seasons of his career, Montiejunas has averaged 7.8 points, 4 rebounds and 1.1 assists. These numbers may not be eye-popping, but they certainly will help the 14-21 Pelicans, who are surprisingly only 1 game behind the Sacramento Kings for the 8th seed in the Western Conference.
New Orleans is not very deep when it comes to bigs, considering that Terrence Jones, Alexis Ajinca, and Cheick Diallo are the only bigs they bring off the bench. Entering Montijunas into the mix will help create different matchups that can be used by Alvin Gentry as well as another body that can be brought in based on the situations.
If an injury were to occur to any of their bigs, there would be a huge void left behind, making this move vital to the success of the Pelicans. New Orleans needed more depth at the position and had to prepare themselves for an injury that could occur down the stretch.
Expecting the deal between the Pelicans and Donatas Montiejunas to be announced tomorrow, per sources close to the situation.
— Jennifer Hale (@JenHale504) January 3, 2017
After leaving a rough situation in Houston where he had a lot of issues with the front office due to his restricted free agency, Montiejunas is going to be playing the rest of the season with a chip on his shoulder. That situation has given him something to prove, which should help Houston get even more out of their newly acquired big man.
Montijunas may not be the guy that guarantees New Orleans will have a spot saved for them in the playoffs, but he is still somebody who can provide valuable minutes and help the Pelicans down the stretch. New Orleans will benefit from the signing of the forward, which will help them compete for the 8th seed in the West.