Nov 28, 2012; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Houston Rockets power forward Patrick Patterson (54) drives to the basket during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Oklahoma City won 120-98. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Breaking Down The Sacramento Kings & Houston Rockets Thomas Robinson / Patrick Patterson Trade

Boy oh boy, where does one even start with this?

Feb 13, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward Thomas Robinson (0) warms up before the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks defeated the Kings 123-100. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

To give up on a player selected fifth in the NBA Draft just a few short months ago – who, after a semi-slow start had clearly been turning it around and playing at a solid level. You just don’t see it. But hey – that’s the Maloofs for you and don’t you think for a moment that this move was made with any other goal in mind, other than to line the pockets of the outgoing owners.

No matter if this franchise moves to Seattle or stays in Sacramento, one thing is for certain – the financially struggling Maloof’s are gone. So, in a last ditch effort, they did their best to strip the franchise of whatever it had left. I wouldn’t have put it past them to trade DeMarcus Cousins or Tyreke Evans had the situation allowed it – but given the difficult financials of that situation considering their low salaries, I’m pretty sure David Stern would’ve taken notice to the scorched earth attempts and put a stop to it for “basketball reasons” much like the famed Chris Paul trade last season. But I regress – let’s look at the move from a basketball point of view.

In exchange for Thomas Robinson, Tyler Honeycutt and Francisco Garcia, the Sacramento Kings received Patrick Patterson, Toney Douglas, Cole Aldrich and $1 million in cash.

February 10, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Houston Rockets power forward Patrick Patterson (54) dunks the ball against the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings defeated the Rockets 117-111. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Patterson is the “jewel” of the deal, if you want to call him that. The 23 year old, power forward and former Kentucky Wildcat is currently in his third NBA season and will reunite with DeMarcus Cousins, who shared the court with him at Kentucky. The two are great friends and if you’re looking for any positive in this deal, the two should mesh extremely well given their off the court friendship. I made mention earlier this season of Patterson taking time out of his busy schedule to keep in touch with Cousins, who was struggling both on and off the court. As far as his game, Patterson wont be confused with Thomas Robinson when it comes to hustle and energy. What King fans will enjoy though is Patterson’s efficiency and all around offensive game that allows him to be a versicle scoring option. Possessing a very solid mid-range game and a game that will allow him to play with his back to the basket at times, Patterson’s addition will help the second unit on the offensive end. He also brings very solid intangibles and runs the court well for a player his size, though his rebounding leaves a lot to be desired – especially after watching Robinson’s athleticism clean the boards. As of this current moment, I wouldn’t disagree with the notion of Patterson being the better of the two, though, the ceiling is much higher for Robinson.

In addition to Patterson, the Kings also will bring in point guard Toney Douglas and center Cole Aldrich, both of whom are free agents at season end. Aldrich is a borderline NBA talent who’ll play sparingly before being let go at season end while Douglas should just add to the log jam in the Kings’ backcourt. You could honestly flip a coin between he and Aaron Brooks – there isn’t a vast difference between the two and much like Aldrich, I’d expect Douglas to be nothing more than a half season rental. Don’t get too attached – not that you would have anyway.

Now that we’ve talked up (or down) the talent – let’s get to the real meat and potatoes of this deal – the financial impact. As I stated before, this deal was made with one intention – save money/make money and that’s exactly what the Maloof family did.

The Kings sent out $10.3 million in salary this season while receiving $6.6 million in return. Given the season is half over and the salaries are prorated, you can essentially cut that in half – meaning the Maloofs will only have to pay about $3.2 million for the rest of the season in salary commitments as opposed to over $5 million (though more than half of the NBA season is over so it’s even less). In addition to that, the Kings were also given $1 million dollars in the deal, which the Maloof family will either pocket or use in a way to pay off league/city commitments or team salary. Add in that additional $1 million they received and you can cut that $3.2 in salary owed for the rest of the season down to $2.2 – a savings of about $3 million dollars when all is said and done.

In terms of talent, the only player coming to the Kings who’ll have a contract beyond this year is Patterson, who is signed through next season.

All in all – it’s a pretty disgusting below the belt punch from the Maloof family, who already had King fans on the ropes. Don’t get me wrong – Patterson is a very solid player who King fans will grow to love (hopefully long term, if the Kings are to remain) – but the Kings are the clear loser in this deal – the price too steep to pay.

Here is reaction from other members of the A Royal Pain crew:

Scott

Yes, your first reaction to this trade was the right one. What the… In a massive waste of an asset, the Kings send away Thomas Robinson for a trio of reserves, only one of whom is signed past the next 27 games. Remember all the trade buzz the Kings No. 5 pick drew on draft day? Wasted. Giving up the No. 5 pick midway through his rookie season can only be explained by a cash crunch. The Maloofs still technically own the team. Riddle solved.

While Thomas Robinson’s rookie season could best be described as shaky, the forward showed enough raw skills to at least see through his development — or save his value for a bigger package. Robinson showed NBA quality athleticism, rebounding and defense once he settled into his role. His offense needed work, undoubtedly, but he was the exact type of player you want to watch grow in the right situation.

The “centerpiece” coming back is Patrick Patterson. And Patterson, the 14th overall pick in 2010, is a nice player. Think the opposite of T-Rob — rebounding is sketchy but he’s shown offensive skills, especially with his midrange jumper. At 23, he certainly has room to grow, and it’s not hard to imagine him improving. As a bonus, he has a previous relationship with DeMarcus Cousins. Patterson was a junior at Kentucky when Cousins was a freshman…perhaps he can be a mentor of sorts.

The other pieces have minimal value if only because of their expiring contracts. Cole Aldrich is a big guy, and the Kings could use some bench size. Toney Douglas is a capable scorer and could have been worthy of acquiring if the Kings didn’t have six guards ahead of him.

On a sentimental side note, the Kings also say goodbye to Francisco Garcia. The longest-tenured King became a part of this community, as any player does when they play here for an extended time. Garcia was always a professional to the highest degree — a hard worker and leader who showed much promise before injuries derailed his career. He can still be a valuable bench weapon on the right team, and here’s hoping that place is Houston or where ever he chooses to sign this summer.

Matt

When I heard earlier this week that there wouldn’t be any major trades, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. Finally, for a year I wouldn’t have to slam my head against the wall at another cap clearing trade. My excitement was short lived. When I logged into Twitter to see the words “Thomas Robinson traded to the Rockets” I was expecting a fake account, it was real. Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt and a 2nd Round pick sent to Houston for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas and 1M cash. I won’t even talk about Aldrich and Douglas, they will walk in free agency next season. Honeycutt was really never here, although I will miss Garcia as a veteran. Instead I bash my head at the fact that we just sold the No.5 pick. Thomas Robinson has a bright future, even after taking him ahead of Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes I don’t have a problem with that. Instead we sold Thomas Robinson for $1 Million and DeMarcus Cousins friend. While Patrick Patterson (23) is still young, and was a starter in Houston he doesn’t have the same potential as Robinson. He may be a better player today but for a rebuilding team, that doesn’t help. So we come down to the final aspect of this deal, the 1 million dollars. We just sold the No.5 Overall pick for $1 Million, the same price most teams pay for 2nd Round Picks. The only bright side to this deal, it will be the last move the Maloofs ever make……I hope!

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