The Rockets have finalized a pair of deals they agreed upon Wednesday night, sending Marcus Morris to the Suns for a second-round pick and trading Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas and $1MM to the Kings for Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt. The second-rounder heading to Houston is Phoenix's own 2013 selection. The Suns, who were at the roster limit of 15 players going into the trade, waived Luke Zeller to make room for Morris.
Houston was reportedly deciding between a pair of deals for Morris, whom the Rockets held out of their win against Oklahoma City on Wednesday. With Houston's top two power forwards gone, it looks like a pair of rookies, in Robinson and Terrence Jones, will man the position as the team fights to hold on to the final playoff spot in the West. One of the motivations to trade Morris was to free up time for Jones, according to HoopsWorld's Steve Kyler.
As Grantland's Zach Lowe points out via Twitter, the pair of moves will save Houston approximately $1.6MM for next season if they decline their option on Garcia. Lowe surmised earlier that Houston would look to cut between $1.5MM and $2MM to clear room for a max deal to land Dwight Howard, who'll be a free agent this summer. The Rockets also get the No. 5 overall pick from this past June's draft in Robinson, who's seen just 15.9 minutes per game as a reserve for the Kings this year. Nonetheless, Robinson is grabbing 4.7 rebounds in his limited action, which would extrapolate to 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes.
Sacramento had appeared unlikely to make a deal as their ownership situation remains in limbo, but they flipped Robinson for two expiring deals and Patterson, who will enter the final season of his rookie contract next year. The move was all about cost-cutting and not something the Kings current management wished to do, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. The Chris Hansen/Howard Ballmer group from Seattle that has a deal in place to buy the Kings was briefed on the trade before it went down, according to fellow Yahoo! Sports scribe Adrian Wojnarowski (Twitter link). It's unclear exactly where the directive to make the trade came from, though SB Nation's Tom Ziller indicated Wednesday night that co-owner Gavin Maloof and Geoff Petrie are the driving forces in the Kings front office at the moment.
The Suns considered trading a first-round pick for Morris when the Rockets drafted him 14th overall in 2011, but wound up nabbing him for a second-rounder, currently projected to be the 35th overall selection. Now the power forward will reunite with his twin brother, Markieff Morris, whom the Suns took 13th overall in 2011. With the next pick that year, the Rockets drafted Marcus.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (All Twitter links) initially broke the news of both trades. Sam Amick of USA Today (All Twitter links) and TNT's David Aldridge (Twitter link) contributed additional details.