ESPN The Houston Rockets traded power forward Donatas Motiejunas and small forward Marcus Thornton to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for a protected 2016 first round pick and Joel Anthony, according to a source. The pick is Top 8 protected in 2016 and Top 10 in 2017 and 2018, according to ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh.
This is an interesting trade for the Detroit Pistons, they finally land Donatas Motiejunas, who they have always loved and have tried to acquire multiple times. The Rockets did not necessarily want to trade Donatas Motiejunas, but he was set to become a restricted free agent this summer, and Houston knew they would lose him because they could not afford to match an offer sheet. Instead of losing Motiejunas for nothing, the Rockets get an additional first round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, which is top eight protected. The trade is also interesting for the Detroit Pistons, who are clearly looking to make a run in the Eastern Conference, after adding Donatas Motiejunas and Tobias Harris to their front court in the last three days. The Pistons now have a formidable front court with Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris, Marcus Morris, Donatas Motiejunas and rookie Stanley Johnson which will be a matchup nightmare for other Eastern Conference playoff teams.