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Nets could sign Rockets’ Donatas Motiejunas to offer sheet as early as Friday, according to report

Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas grabs a rebound

Houston Rockets forward Donatas Motiejunas grabs a rebound in the first half of an NBA game against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, March 19, 2016, in Atlanta. Credit: AP / John Bazemore

According to a published report, the Nets are interested in Rockets restricted free-agent forward Donatas Motiejunas and could sign him to an offer sheet as early as Friday.

Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported that the Nets had Motiejunas in for a physical last week and concluded that they are “comfortable” with the condition of his back, which was the reason he failed a physical that voided a three-way trade that would have sent him to Detroit last February.

A Nets official declined comment on the report, but if the team does sign the 7-foot Lithuanian power forward to an offer sheet, the deal would have to be announced because it triggers a 72-hour period in which the Rockets must either match it or let him go. Motiejunas previously rejected the Rockets’ $4.4-million qualifying offer, and The Vertical said he balked at a two-year deal starting at about $7 million with only the first year guaranteed.

The Nets have just over $18 million in available salary-cap space, but they also have the maximum 15 guaranteed contracts and would have to waive a player and pay off his deal to add another contract. In this case, the most likely candidate is 36-year-old forward Luis Scola, who is on a one-year deal worth $5.5 million.

Hollis-Jefferson returns

Forward Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who missed the past three games with a sore right ankle, returned Thursday night and had seven points in 17 minutes.

“He’s been out more than a week, so we have to build him back up bit by bit,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “I think our performance team does a great job and he’s had a couple good days of workouts.”

Missing Lin

Nets point guard Jeremy Lin (strained right hamstring) missed his 13th straight game Thursday night, and Bucks coach Jason Kidd said, “I think they miss him. He puts a lot of pressure on the defense. When you have to have two rookies [Isaiah Whitehead and Yogi Ferrell] out there, that changes the landscape, but they are playing hard and well.”

New York Sports