Rockets stand firm as deadline passes

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm •  Published: February 21, 2013
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HOUSTON (AP) — Houston general manager Daryl Morey expected the Rockets to stay quiet leading up to Thursday's trade deadline, until he saw opportunities to land rookie big man Thomas Robinson and a 2013 draft pick.

Once that was done, the Rockets made no more moves on Thursday after reshaping the roster with two deals on Wednesday night.

Houston traded forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich and backup point guard Toney Douglas to Sacramento for Robinson, the No. 5 pick in last year's draft, and forwards Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt. The Rockets also dealt forward Marcus Morris to Phoenix for the Suns' second-round draft pick this summer.

"Our goal is to both improve our team now and to be a championship contender," Morey said Thursday.

The 6-foot-10 Robinson is the big prize, the No. 5 pick in last year's draft and last season's Big 12 player of the year at Kansas. With the Kings, though, he's averaged only 4.8 points and 4.7 rebounds in 16 minutes per game. His most notable NBA moment might have come when he elbowed Detroit's Jonas Jerebko in the neck during a game in November and served a two-game suspension.

But Morey expects Robinson to have a major impact in Houston.

"Thomas Robinson has a lot of upside for the bigger goal of getting back to being a contender," Morey said.

The newly acquired players were scheduled to join the Rockets in New York, where they'll play Brooklyn on Friday night. Morey also jumped at the chance to nab a pick in the upcoming draft — Houston didn't have one before dealing Morris.

"We can't go without being in the draft," Morey said. "I think the moves hopefully made sense, given what we're trying to do."

It was still a tough call for Morey, shipping off four players when the Rockets hold the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference. Morey says the moves shouldn't jeopardize Houston's chances of making the postseason, because the Rockets have developed depth at the positions where they lost players.

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