HOUSTON — Thomas Robinson is in, while Marcus Morris and Patrick Patterson are out in Houston, as part of a reported three-way deal that also involved the Phoenix Suns and Sacramento Kings.
The move reunites twin brothers Marcus and Markieff Morris in Phoenix, and Marcus was swapped for Robinson, his former teammate at Kansas. Houston also sent Patterson, Toney Douglas and Cole Aldrich (another college teammate of Morris) to Sacramento.
In addition to Robinson, the No. 5 pick in the 2012 draft, the Rockets – who were 29-26 and in eighth place in the Western Conference at the time of the trade – get Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt and a second-round pick, according to reports.
Morris was the 14th pick in the 2011 draft. After spending most of his rookie season in the D-league, he started 17 games for Houston this year, averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds. He was most often deployed as an offensive sparkplug, his 3-point shooting and offensive rebounding often adding punch in moments the Rockets labored to score.
Those moments were rare, however. Houston has been at or near the top of the NBA in scoring all season and Robinson, though not as skilled as Morris, is a powerful, bruising presence that could give the Rockets some needed muscle in the paint. His NBA career, however, is off to a slow start. He averaged 15.9 minutes, 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Kings.
Patterson, in his third season out of Kentucky, was a reliable post defender and improving outside shooter. He was Houston’s fourth-leading scorer this season at 11.6 points per game. Douglas played backup point guard to Jeremy Lin, while Aldrich rarely played.
Garcia was averaging 5.2 points and 17.8 minutes for the Kings. Honeycutt averaged less than four minutes per game.
Sacramento and Phoenix entered Wednesday night as the bottom two teams in the Western Conference.