Rockets trade Patterson for Robinson

By: Richie Boswell

The Houston Rockets got the first trade of what could be a trade deadline full of new destinations for NBA players. While this particular trade doesn’t jump off the map for anyone to care, it does in fact set a stepping stone where other players could land. Rumors swirled that Josh Smith, who is the big prize in these trade deadline talks, could quite possibly end up in Houston due to the pieces and young talent Houston acquired over the summer. With the trade for Thomas Robinson, it has eliminated the all fact that Houston will go after Josh Smith before the deadline.

Who got who exactly? Here is the trade between Houston, Sacramento, and Phoenix.

Houston receives:
PF Thomas Robinson
SG Francisco Garcia
SF Tyler Honeycutt

Sacramento receives:
PF Patrick Patterson
PG Toney Douglas
C Cole Aldrich

Phoenix receives:
PF Marcus Morris

I personally feel it is too early to tell who has won this trade. Patrick Patterson is clearly the best player coming out of this trade. However, Thomas Robinson is a rookie and the 5th overall pick in the first round of the the most recent draft back in June. It’s tough to say who really won this trade because it is not like Patrick Patterson is a bad player, I think it was because Houston needed to amp up on defense.

For Phoenix, they got Marcus Morris, which is funny because his twin brother Markieff Morris, plays for them. Marcus played well off the bench in Houston and I felt was sort of a minor blow to that bench, but that’s okay because Marcus has a way better opportunity to start with a struggling, practically starting over Phoenix Suns team. He could quite possibly be better in Phoenix, so it works out for him, just like for Thomas Robinson in Houston.

The problem with Sacramento’s situation is they got two expendable players in Toney Douglas and Cole Aldrich, who are in their final year of their contract. Patrick Patterson has the remaining of this year and next year on his contract. Sacramento made very little cap space in the trade. They only received about 4 million dollars in cap space. Sacramento fans and writers have not taken the news of Thomas Robinson’s departure well as the Kings have just inherited two almost expiring contracts and Patrick Patterson, and the 4 million dollars in cap space that really can’t be a huge impact in free agency.

For Houston, this can be really good or really bad depending on how Thomas Robinson plays. Houston received Francisco Garcia, who has a 6.1 million dollar contract and is a minor beat down on Houston’s cap space. However, Garcia, who has depleted in his performance over the last 2 or 3 years can be released at the end of the season due to the team option that is on his contract. That’s 6.1 million dollars in extra cap space for Houston if they choose to release him, which is a good thing because Houston already has a lot of cap space to work with. Look for Houston to release Garcia and possibly continue to work in developing Tyler Honeycutt, however the trade is based around Robinson for Houston.

Thomas Robinson will finally get the starting nods he has always wanted. In Sacramento, coach Keith Smart never really used him. Well, now that he is in Houston and Patrick Patterson is gone, it leaves the window wide open for Robinson. Robinson should be a good player and he is a big step in the right direction on the defensive side of the ball. Houston ranks 29th in defense, so this should be a more improved defense. Also, Houston is getting younger talent and has actually done really well in picking up the right set of young talent this year. Houston is the youngest team in the NBA and are in for a very bright future. They are already one of the highest scoring teams in the league, they just need to get better on defense.

To tell you who won this trade is too soon. We need to see by the end of the season or even by next year who really came out on top with this trade. I can tell you though, Houston won the battle with the cap space because they already have a lot of cap space and if they choose to drop Garcia, which by all eyes is a no-brainier, they would open up more cap space. Houston already had the cap space to sign a big name free agent in the summer. By adding more space, they obviously have more money to deal out. Look for Houston to get a big name over the summer to complete what could possibly be a serious NBA championship contender.