Baylor forward Johnathan Motley wasn’t supposed to go undrafted in Thursday’s NBA draft. However, it doesn’t sound like Motley will be without a team for much longer.
Dallas Mavericks general manager Donnie Nelson told ESPN Dallas that the team is in “advanced discussions” to sign Motley.
“Being right down the road with Scott Drew and the amazing job he does down there… let’s just say that we’re on it,” Nelson said.
Motley was one of the most surprising snubs of this year’s draft. The redshirt junior averaged 17.3 points and 9.9 rebounds per game and led Baylor to its fourth straight NCAA tournament, a school record. For his efforts, Motley became the first Bear to earn consensus All-America honors.
Johnathan Motley is the only guy left in my top-46 to not be taken. Whoever gets him at this point will be getting a good one.
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) June 23, 2017
He received first round consideration when he came out. However, a medical red flag on his knee reportedly scared some teams away. Motley suffered a meniscus injury in the NCAA tournament against South Carolina. He required surgery in April, and likely would not have been fully healthy for workouts with NBA teams.
“We all feel for those guys who should be at the end of the first and all of a sudden you’ve got an injury situation [and] get into a free fall,” Nelson said. “We’ve been in contact and are hopeful and fairly optimistic we can make something happen there.”
Motley is from Houston, but getting to stay in the Lone Star State could be an attractive situation for him. Dallas signed Baylor alums Pierre Jackson and Quincy Acy earlier in the 2016-17 season.