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Rockets get Thomas Robinson from Kings in six-player deal

Feb 20, 2013, 8:32 PM EDT

Sacramento Kings v Boston Celtics Getty Images

If you, like me, thought the Kings were not going to make any trades at the deadline because of the pending potential sale of the team, we were wrong. Whatever happens with the Kings GM Geoff Petrie is a lame duck, yet here we are with a trade

The Kings have sent the No. 5 overall pick from the last draft, Thomas Robinson out of Kansas is going to get a fresh start down in Houston, first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. The trade has since been confirmed by multiple sources.

The deal sends Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt and a second round pick to the Rockets. The Kings get Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich and Toney Douglas. In a related move Houston sent Marcus Morris to Phoenix a second round pick (where he will now team up with his brother Markieff).

Robinson is the biggest name to most fans, but the rookie has struggled with the Kings. He’s averaged 4.8 points on 42.7 percent shooting and 4.7 rebounds a game. He has a PER of just 10.8, and with that production has come a drop in minutes the past month. Robinson tries to do too much — in college he was the man, the focal point, and he seems to be struggling to play within a role on a team where he is just a guy. He turns the ball over, tries to make passes and plays he shouldn’t. That said, he’s an inexpensive rookie with potential. This was pretty quick to give up on him.

There is plenty of time to grow into his game and at a good cost — he is in just the first year of his rookie deal and the Rockets get him for three years on the cheep. In fact, if the Rockets turn down the final year option for Garcia they will save $1.6 million in cap space for 2014 with this move.

But the real money savers here are the Kings, and by that we mean the Maloof family. They save about $4.5 million in salary (which will be less once prorated for the remainder of the season), they save money in future years as Aldrich has an expiring contract, plus they reportedly get a cool $1 million in cash. It was an ATM move for the cash-poor franchise.

Patterson provides the Kings more immediate help now for the Kings up front, he started 38 games for the Rockets this season giving them 11.6 points a game on 51.9 percent shooting, plus 4.7 rebounds a game. Patterson is a strong pick-and-pop guy forward shooting 37 percent from three and can knock down long twos as well. Patterson is a Kentucky guy who has a good relationship with DeMarcus Cousins.

The Kings also get Douglas, who has played solid ball for the Rockets off the bench, giving them 8.1 points a game. But it was really all about the money.

  1. tomtravis76 - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Robinson is going to thrive in Houston. He is going to have vets to learn from and guards who like to shoot alot,which will create more opportunities on the boards. Now that he doesn’t have the weight of being a number 5 pick on a young team, he is going to get the chance to find his way in the League. What a steal for the Rockets for the long term of building a solid squad in Houston

    • brianjoates - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      Best way for a young big man to find his game in the league is to clean the glass for put backs.It builds his confidence that he can score down low and once teams start preparing to stop you down low, you move to the mid range game, driving to the basket and finally the outside jumper.

      Now Robinson gets to work with one of the greatest low post big men to ever play the game in McHale…come on, that almost seems unfair. Robinson has an opportunity to grow his game to an entire new level, just hope he wants that knowledge. This is a tremendous move for the Rockets franchise.

    • saint1997 - Feb 21, 2013 at 2:50 AM

      Morey has emerged as being one of the best GMs in basketball. Make smart decisions to acquire good talent and high picks

  2. drunkenjunk - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:55 PM

    i’ve barely seen any of Robinson this year and maybe i’m missing something but this seems really early to give up on the #5 pick from this season’s draft.

    • dannymac17 - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:51 PM

      It seems like this is a move to dull the fans of Sac town to me. I could be wrong.

  3. tigers182 - Feb 20, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    It’s another Chauncey Billups situation. Slway to early to give up on him.

  4. eventhorizon04 - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    “In fact, if the Rockets turn down the final year option for Garcia they will save $1.6 million in cap space for 2014 with this move.”

    As Zach Lowe notes, that additional $1.6 million in cap space for Houston was needed “to make sure they have Dwight [Howard]-level max space.”

    Even if it’s not Dwight, the Rockets now are in a position to add a max player for next year in free agency. And they also got a terrific young prospect in Thomas Robinson.

  5. 00maltliquor - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    I like it H-Town!

    Show SAC they just squanderd another PF double-double machine like when they bought out JJ Hickson.

    T-Rob’s #s haven’t been impressive because he hasn’t been given a real chance. HOU just got rid of their top 2 PFs, so now there’s more then plenty of room for him to step in right away. Or at least compete with the dude he played against in the NCAA championship last year in Terrence Jones, who also hasn’t had a fair shot behind good but not impressive Patrick Patterson and Marcus Morris.

    I like SACs team a lot less now but’s cool to re-pair Cousins and Patterson.

    Even cooler to re-pair up brothers and college teamates like the Morris boys!

    Don’t know why PHX gave up a 1sty for him when they already got his brother who is a tiny bit better and Scola (and Frye, although injured this season) and Beasley playing the PF, but I finally get to satisfy my appetite of having brothers playing together (Morris’ in PHX, Hansbroughs in IND) this year!!

  6. snoqualmieterry - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    It appears the GM is dumping some talent before the Kings become the new Seattle Sonics. I hope this will improve the team before they get here.

  7. ss3walkman - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    Are they trying to sabotage the team so the Seattle Group won’t want to buy anymore?

  8. yousuxxors - Feb 20, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    half a season and they give up on him. this kid is gonna be good. houston got a steal.

  9. sportsnut101 - Feb 20, 2013 at 10:12 PM

    I like the move for both teams Kings didn’t wanna draft him but had to. Even though lillard was on board

    Kings didn’t know what they were doing they have talent. They need leadership

  10. southsidegroovin281 - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    Good trade Rockets! We need a PF who rebound. Not to Francisco Garcia who will be great with Delfino coming off the bench. Go Rockets.

    • southsidegroovin281 - Feb 20, 2013 at 11:11 PM


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