With Thomas Robinson joining the Rockets in a deal hatched less than 24 hours before the trade deadline, the Rockets' power forward rotation has been given quite the shakeup. Thomas Robinson, the jewel the Kings prized and refused to give up at the draft is now a Rocket, and Patrick Patterson is a King.
What should we make of this deal? Obviously, Robinson was highly thought of before the draft, but many in Houston haven't been able to see much of Robinson since the draft. Fortunately enough, we have Tom Ziller of SBNation.com and Sactown Royalty here to give us some much-needed added perspective on the deal.
PH: Can you give a scouting report on Thomas Robinson for somebody who has never seen him play before?
TZ: Thomas Robinson right now is all energy, hustle and athleticism. He's trying to adjust to NBA defenses and offenses, and while he made some gains of late, he's still a ways away. Kevin McHale should be a gift for him, and certainly the Rockets' up-tempo style won't hurt. Be wary about his touch around the rim (bad right now), jumper (yikes) and hands (not great). Long-term, though, he can be a Joakim Noah type minus the passing finesse.
PH: Francisco Garcia is a vet who seems like he's been around Sacramento forever. Does he have anything left to give as a bench shooter or is he just end of the bench fodder?
TZ: Garcia can shoot and he's an active defender, though thin and prone to fouling. He's actually now No. 7 in blocks in Sacramento Kings history. He might be the second-best perimeter shotblocker to Dwyane Wade these days. But he's not great with the handle, he's not an elite shooter and he's not an elite man defender. I look forward to seeing him on a good team, though.
PH: Obviously, with the team for sale the Maloofs' have little incentive to do anything but line their pockets as much as possible before they move on. Is this just a cash grab, or were the Kings really down on Robinson enough to give him up for Patterson?
TZ: I have to believe this was a cash grab. Even if the Kings didn't think Robinson could make it, they could have found a better value deal, but not necessarily one that sent cash and salary savings back. It's a pretty depressing situation.
Rockets fans have been pretty unequivocal in their praise of Daryl Morey since the deal, and Tom's insight backs up that up pretty well. Robinson is a young, athletic power forward with some serious down-the-line potential, and Daryl Morey took advantage of an opportunity to grab him when the Maloofs decided they'd rather have a few extra million bucks.
Thanks to Tom for helping out!