Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Last night the Sacramento Kings pulled the trigger on the most inexplicable NBA trade of the year — sending Thomas Robinson to the Houston Rockets for role players just 55 games after taking him with the #5 pick in the 2012 Draft.The full trade:
- Houston gets: Thomas Robinson, Francisco Garcia, Tyler Honeycutt
- Sacramento gets: Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas
According to Grantland’s Zach Lowe, the NBA world can’t believe the Kings gave up on Robinson so soon. He reported on Twitter, “Also for the record: Folks around the league seem largely aghast/shocked/confused by what Kings did here.”
The Kings are rebuilding and need young potential game-changers like Robinson more than low-ceiling role players like Patterson.
So all indications are that this deal had nothing to do with basketball, and was a straight-up financial move by the Kings’ owners, the Maloofs — who are planning to sell the team to a Seattle-based group before next season.
The three players Sacramento traded are getting paid a combined $10.2 million this season. The three players they took back are getting paid $6.5 million.
Since roughly two thirds of that money has already been paid, this trade will save the Maloofs ~$1.2 million when all is said and done.
So, to put it crudely, it appears that the Kings’ owners sacrificed a key piece of the team’s basketball future so that they could save $1.2 million in their dying months as NBA owners.
The trade makes no sense from a basketball standpoint. It makes the saddest kind of sense from a business standpoint.
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