In Donatas Motiejunas, the Rockets see some of Dirk Nowitzki’s size, athleticism and offensive skills. That’s a huge projection, a huge leap. Motiejunas is far from a finished product, but so was Nowitzki when he entered the league.

“He has a really high upside, a lot of potential,” Morey said.

On a day when the Rockets believed they took a huge step toward returning to the playoffs even as they were unable to fill their biggest need, it’s the trade for Motiejunas that prompted high-fives and huge smiles in their draft room.