It looks as if the Houston Rockets weren't satisfied with their young core after all. According to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski, the Rockets have sent forward Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for a second-round draft pick:
The Houston Rockets have traded Marcus Morris to the Phoenix Suns for a future second-round draft pick, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 21, 2013
At first, this move seems rather perplexing. The Rockets have no luxury tax worries for this season, and Morris has shown vast improvement in his second year out of Kansas, averaging 8.6 points and 4.1 rebounds while flashing an ability to stretch beyond the three-point arc.
Trading Morris appears to make precious little sense on the surface—especially when selling him for pennies on the dollar.
However, subsequent trades by Houston put the Morris deal in a much better perspective, as the Rockets also put together a multi-player deal with the Sacramento Kings to land Thomas Robinson.
The fifth overall pick in last June's draft, Robinson is naturally viewed as a player with star potential. Though his level of play has fluctuated throughout the season, he will undoubtedly take on an increased role for the Rockets down the stretch.
Did the Rockets' moves on Wednesday make them better or worse?
With Robinson's arrival comes a very logical reason for Morris' departure. Robinson would have ostensibly usurped all of Morris' playing time and, by proxy, his trade value as well. By making a deal now, Houston avoids a potentially untenable locker room situation.
Meanwhile, the deal is almost completely without risk for the Suns. They have been on the market for a versatile forward throughout the season, and Morris' ability to stretch the defense could be paramount.
The move will also pair Marcus with his twin brother, Markieff. The two starred at Kansas together and were taken back-to-back at No. 13 and 14 in the 2011 draft. Though that ultimately has little basketball-related effect, it's hard to see Marcus being all that disappointed in his new surroundings.