After the Rockets completed a three-team trade at the deadline sending Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton to Detroit for a first-round pick, with Joel Anthony going to the Sixers, word came out that the deal was in danger if Motiejunas could not pass a physical due to his back issues.
Motiejunas has been dealing with recovery from a herniated disc in his back. He underwent surgery last April and despite a return mid-way through this year, he’s had difficulty staying on the floor.
This deal falling apart, four days after the deadline, is bad in all sorts of ways for both teams. The Pistons had loaded up with this deal, getting two veteran players to help their woeful bench, after sending Brandon Jennings and Ersan Ilyasova to Orlando in the Tobias Harris trade. Houston had shipped two players out, who now return to its roster. They’re both pros and will understand the business and how it works, but that’s still incredibly awkward. Plus, the Rockets fail to secure a first-round pick in exchange, which would have helped since if they make the playoffs (which remains likely) they send their first-rounder to Denver.
It’s just tough all around, and a reminder of the complications that can occur if you wait until the deadline to make crucial moves. We’ll see how both teams adjust going forward.
The Rockets traded Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton to Detroit Pistons for Joel Anthony and a first-round pick in the 2016 draft from Detroit. Joel Anthony was been moved by Houston to the Philadelphia Sixers plus 2017 second round pick and got rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum from Philadelphia.
Courtesy: CBS Sports