ESPN After selecting Thomas Robinson with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 draft, the Sacramento Kings already have him on the move, according to reports. Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday night that the Kings have agreed to send Robinson to the Houston Rockets along with Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt in exchange for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas. USA Today reported that the Kings, in the process of being sold, also received $1 million in the transaction. In advance of Thursday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, Houston is also dealing forward Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a second-round draft pick in June, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard. Morris, averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game in Houston, will join his twin brother, Markieff Morris, in Phoenix. The Kings will raise eyebrows by giving up so soon on such a high pick, but the move saves more than $3 million in payroll this season and reunites star forward DeMarcus Cousins with Patterson, his former Kentucky teammate.
The Sacramento Kings already gave up on rookie forward Thomas Robinson, who they selected fifth overall in the NBA Draft last June, but there is a method behind his madness. The Kings have a lot of young big men and could not play them all, so they cleared cap space with the move for next summer, which will allow them to be a player in the free agent market.
I maintain that the Kings have a lot of talented players, but are the most poorly constructed team in the NBA, they have a lot selfish athletes who excel in one-on-one situations. They do not have players with NBA experience, who know how to succeed throughout the grind of the NBA season, and this trade alleviates the log jam at the 4 and the 5 in Sacramento while saving them cap room.
I have heard that the Kings may not be done dealing. It is clear that what they have on their roster is not working. They seem to be committed to talented but temperamental (putting it nicely) young big Demarcus Cousins, and would like to build around him for the future, so it seems they did not think he could coexist with Robinson.
It was another great asset grab by Daryl Morey, the general manager of the Houston Rockets, who comes away with a talented young big man who was lost on a team loaded with big men. Robinson has more potential than any other player in the trade, but he can be moved right away in another transaction, maybe they include him in a trade to land another star. If not, Robinson should fit very well in the uptempo offense that the Rockets run, which features guards James Harden and Jeremy Lin.
It was also quietly a smart move by the Phoenix Suns to acquire Marcus Morris, who will reunite with twin brother Markieff Morris, which should be good for both of their careers. Marcus Morris was no longer necessary in Houston following the acquisition of Thomas Robinson.
The losers in this trade seem to be Sacramento, and the winners Houston if we were grading it right now, but I see why both teams made the deal. I think the real winner in this trade may be Thomas Robinson, who will have the opportunity to play meaningful minutes and thrive on a more mature team in Houston, while it seemed he was wasting away on a bench in Sacramento.