HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets acquired No. 5 pick Thomas Robinson and forwards Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt from Sacramento on Wednesday for forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich and point guard Toney Douglas.
Also Wednesday, the Rockets reached an agreement to send forward Marcus Morris to Phoenix for a future second-round pick, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because that trade had not been announced, pending league approval.
Patterson, Aldrich and Douglas walked out of the Toyota Center just as Houston was starting its game against Oklahoma City on the eve of the trading deadline. The Rockets came into the game holding the No. 8 spot in the Western Conference, and the moves were unexpected.
The short-handed Rockets heard the news only 20 minutes before tipoff.
“It was definitely the weirdest game I’ve ever played in,” said Houston forward Chandler Parsons. “It was hard to focus. It was hard to block (out) four friends leaving.”
Houston rallied from 14 points down to beat the Thunder 122-119.
“A lot of distractions before the game,” said James Harden, who scored a career-high 46 points. “I just rallied the guys together and told them to focus in on every play. It was going to be a tough game for us, but we had to really focus in on the small, detailed things. The guys did a phenomenal job.”
The 6-foot-9 Patterson had started 38 games for Houston this season and was the Rockets’ fourth-leading scorer, averaging 11.6 points. Douglas was acquired in the offseason in a trade with New York and he played in 49 games backing up Jeremy Lin. The 6-11 Aldrich, acquired in the Harden trade with Oklahoma City just before the season, averaged 1.7 points in 30 games for Houston this season.
Sacramento had high hopes for the 6-10 Robinson, but he’s disappointed so far, averaging 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. Robinson was ejected and suspended two games by the NBA.
Kings general manager Geoff Petrie had hinted that he’d only make minor moves before the trade deadline because of the pending purchase agreement that could move the franchise to Seattle next season.
Marcus Morris had played in all but one of Houston’s games this season, making 17 starts. He was averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. The Suns took Markieff with the 13th pick in 2011 draft, and Marcus was right behind him again, going to Houston at No. 14.
Morris was beaming about the thought of joining his twin older brother, Markieff, on the Phoenix roster.
“If I was to be traded, that’s where I would want to go,” Marcus Morris said outside the Rockets’ locker room. “I think Houston knew that. That’s all I did was talk about my brother and how happy I was to play with him. I’m excited. That’s all I can say.”
The Suns entered their game against Golden State with the worst record in the West (18-36), but that didn’t seem to matter to Morris.
“It’s my first trade,” Morris said. “All I kept hearing was, it’s a business. It happens. I mean, it does happen. I’m excited to see where my career can go from here.”
Suns coach Lindsey Hunter wouldn’t talk about the deal specifically but acknowledged that Phoenix is building for the future.
“We’re trying to get better,” he said. “We’re trying to build a foundation of something that we hope will last.”