Daryl Morey has never met a trade deadline he didn’t like, and this one was no exception. Morey pulled off a deal sending Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas to Sacramento for Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt.
He then turned around and pulled the trigger on another deal, sending Marcus Morris to Phoenix for a second round pick in the 2013 draft.
How different are the Rockets after pulling off the deal? At the surface, perhaps not that much because the core of who the Rockets count on from game to game didn’t change with the deal.
One thing is probably certain, the shuttle between Rio Grande Valley and Houston will likely slow down considerably.
As the fifth pick in the 2012 draft, Robinson hasn’t produced numbers to the level that he was expected, averaging just under five points and rebounds per game. There have been some questions about his attitude in Sacramento, but as a whole the Kings’ current situation has certainly been less than rosy.
The ownership change, accompanied by the application to move the franchise certainly contributed to the tailspin the Kings are in. An atmosphere like that could easily swallow up a rookie in the locker room.
The Rockets are banking on the change of scenery working wonders for Robinson, who showed an ability to score and work the boards at Kansas when he averaged 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds last year.
Physically, Robinson isn’t a banger in the paint, but in Houston he won’t have to be when Omer Asik’s on the floor with him. That freedom might give him a chance to get more comfortable in the offense and quickly help the Rockets in their playoff push.
The other two players in the deal, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt, will prove more valuable to the Rockets in the cap space they help clear after this season ends.
Does this deal make the Rockets better this year? That will depend largely on Robinson. Patterson, for all his faults, was the starting power forward and his minutes will need to be replaced. If Robinson fills that void it’s no worse than a wash for the Rockets.
But the real key to how this deal will be remembered will be based on the moves Morey pulls off in the offseason. If he can bring in another star to pair with James Harden with the extra cap space that’s been cleared it’s a clear win for Houston.