ROCKETS REEL IN ROBINSON IN 6-PLAYER SWAP - Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Houston Rockets acquired power forward Thomas Robinson, guard-forward Francisco Garcia, and guard-forward Tyler Honeycutt from the Sacramento Kings for power forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich, and combo guard Toney Douglas.
What does it give the Houston Rockets?
The Rockets have been in total overhaul mode since last summer and obviously coveted Robinson, whom is clearly their cornerstone power forward for the future. Robinson has more star power and talent than the hard-working Patterson (and probably more than Morris who was dealt to Phoenix in a separate swap). That said, Robinson isn't as ready for regular action as Patterson so it's clear this deal was made for Houston's long-term future. Garcia is a quality veteran swingman who adds bench depth scoring, and Honeycutt is a solid talent who hasn't played much so far in his NBA career. All three new players have at least another year apiece remaining on their current contracts, so this trade seems more about talent than money for the Rockets.
What does it give the Sacramento Kings?
Kings ownership is in the process of trying to complete a deal to sell the team to a group from Seattle, and above all this trade gives the franchise more financial flexibility. Patterson has just one year left on his contract after this one (compared to two for Robinson) while Aldrich and Douglas can become free agents this summer (while Garcia and Honeycutt are both under contract until the summer of 2014). In terms of on-court talent, Patterson and Aldrich are both above-average young post players who can back up starters DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson, while Douglas can fill some of the backup shooting guard duties vacated by Garcia. This is a short-term talent upgrade for Sacto, but seems more about the team's longer-term finances.
Fantasy Impact
It will be interesting to see what the Rockets do at power forward the rest of this season, since Robinson didn't look quite ready to be a starter for the Kings (although Houston's top two power forwards--Patterson and Morris--are now gone). Delfino started for Houston at the 4-spot in a 'small-ball' type of lineup this week, and it won't be surprising if the team sticks with him there the rest of the way while gradually working Robinson into bigger minutes. Garcia should become a regular Rockets backup at both shooting guard and small forward (so his value should stay about the same), while Honeycutt is probably still stuck with limited (if any) minutes. Meanwhile, Douglas leaving Houston probably ensures that guard Patrick Beverley plays regularly off the bench. For the Kings, Patterson gets a fantasy downgrade since he's probably not a starter anymore (playing behind Jason Thompson), and Douglas is in an equally tough new spot (since the Kings already have a glut of guards). Aldrich should play about as much in Sacto as he did in Houston, which is not very much.
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