Grade for Houston Rockets: A
Grade for Sacramento Kings: D-
In the first deal of the trade season, the Rockets acquired Thomas Robinson, Tyler Honeycutt and Francisco Garcia from the Kings for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas and $1 million in cash.
The best player in this deal isn't clear (right now, it's probably Patterson), but the best value/asset is. Robinson was selected with the No. 5 pick in last year's draft, and despite struggling in 51 games with Sacramento, he's already flashed elite athleticism and a strong ability to rebound the ball.
Houston loses Patterson, its starting power forward, but he was on the back end of a rookie contract and seemingly already at or near his ceiling. Paying him a second contract clearly wasn't a priority for the Rockets, so they swapped him out for a lottery pick with superior value, both on and off the court.
Even if Robinson doesn't evolve into an All-Star-caliber forward, at the very least, the Rockets can flip him this summer for a higher payout than whatever they might've received for Patterson.
The Kings basically let go of a top-five pick before possibly knowing exactly what they had on their hands. Their motivation was likely financial, but that doesn't make it any wiser. Apparently, the Kings couldn't stomach the $6.1 million Garcia was due this year. (He has a team option next season for $6.4 million.)
Not sure what Sacramento was thinking, and from both a basketball and team-building perspective, it's one of the worst deals a team has made in recent years.