Daryl Morey has finally made a trade deadline move for the Rockets, but it's probably not the one you were looking for or hoping for. The Rockets have trimmed their rotation in exchange for a draft pick.
In deal, Detroit will send Joel Anthony and a protected 2016 first-round pick to the Rockets, league sources tell @TheVertical— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) February 18, 2016
On the court, it's a disappointing haul for Donatas Motiejunas, who has obvious talent but just hasn't been able to get on the court this season due to back injuries. Thornton's Rockets career died a hero, as his addition to the deal is probably what got the Pistons to send over their first round pick, without even a full lottery protection.
Pistons first round pick is top-eight protected in Houston deal. @WojVerticalNBA first reported.— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) February 18, 2016
The Pistons have a good shot to make the playoffs, but if they trip up, Houston still has a good shot to keep the pick this season. If the Rockets miss the playoffs, they'll keep the pick they sent to Denver for Ty Lawson and will likely have two first-rounders in the 2016 Draft.
Anthony is an undersized center with little offensive game to speak of, and should live on the end of the bench if he isn't waived outright. It seems as if Daryl Morey has picked Terrence Jones as the restricted free agent power forward the Rockets will try to re-sign this offseason, as he's sloughed off D-Mo to make sure he gets something in return -- including cap space to potentially sign a bargain-basement free agent for the stretch run.
Houston will save $1.2m in luxury taxes and opens up a roster spot. Rockets are now $1.25m below the hard cap.— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) February 18, 2016
UPDATE: Motiejunas has released a statemtent expressing his emotions regarding getting traded.
We'll miss you, ya big Donut.