Sources: Donatas Motiejunas, Rockets not close on new deal

HOUSTON -- With the deadline to sign a qualifying offer approaching, restricted free-agent power forward Donatas Motiejunas and the Houston Rockets have exchanged contract proposals but remain far apart on an agreement, multiple sources told ESPN.

Motiejunas is seeking a larger financial deal from the Rockets, but the two sides haven't had serious contract discussions in a month, the sources said.

Motiejunas' $4.4 million qualifying offer from the Rockets expires at midnight Sunday. His agent, B.J. Armstrong, told ESPN he gave the Rockets a Saturday deadline to work out a deal for him.

If Motiejunas doesn't sign the qualifying offer, or if he allows it to expire, he can eventually sign a one-year deal with the Rockets that could be for less money. If that happens, the Rockets would not be able to trade him unless he granted them permission.

Motiejunas also can accept a contract from another club, but only three teams -- Philadelphia, Denver and Brooklyn -- have salary-cap space to sign him. However, those teams have full 20-man rosters, so space would have to be created for a deal to be made. Because Motiejunas is a restricted free agent, the Rockets can match any contract presented to him.

Motiejunas also can choose to sign with a team overseas or sit out the season.

Regardless of what happens, the Rockets view Motiejunas as a valuable part of the rotation, with coach Mike D'Antoni saying Thursday he can use Motiejunas as the backup power forward to Ryan Anderson.

Houston has 19 players on its training camp roster, with the open spot left for the potential signing of Motiejunas.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said last week that nothing has changed regarding the status of Motiejunas' contract.

Motiejunas, who averaged 6.2 points and 2.9 rebounds in 37 games last season, declined to comment.

The Rockets traded Motiejunas last season to the Detroit Pistons, but the deal was rescinded after he failed a physical. Motiejunas returned to the Rockets and started 17 consecutive games late in the season.