NBA Trade Deadline: Houston Rockets' Aaron Brooks and Shane Battier Unloaded

Jeff Shull@Jeff_ShullAnalyst IFebruary 24, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - JANUARY 12:  Aaron Brooks #0 of the Houston Rockets reacts to his team against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena on January 12, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets were very busy at the trade deadline, addressing both concerns for the future as well as acquiring a center capable of filling the paint on the defensive end.

In two separate deals, the Rockets sent Shane Battier to the Memphis Grizzlies and received a 2011 first-round pick and Hasheem Thabeet, a former No. 2 overall selection.

They also sent troubled backup guard Aaron Brooks to the Suns for Goran Dragic and their 2011 first-round pick.

I didn't realize GM Daryl Morey doubled as a con artist.

If you're counting, the Rockets will now likely have two lottery selections and a middle-of-the-first-round pick in 2011. You'd better believe this will be the most important draft of Morey's time in Houston.

In my opinion, the Rockets are absolutely winners in both deals.

Aaron Brooks was disrupting the chemistry of the team and just not playing well at all and Shane Battier is 32-years-old, so getting a first-rounder for him is amazing work by Morey.

In the short run, they lose a fan favorite and team leader, but the move was necessary to improve the long-term success of the franchise.

The Rockets needed a defensive presence in the paint, and they hopefully got one in Thabeet. It is unfortunate to hear that the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins for Jeff Green, an offensive-minded player that doesn't bring the intangibles that Shane Battier would.

I can't think of how awesome it would have been if the Rockets landed Perk, but they will have to settle for the consolation prize, which isn't that bad at all.

Thabeet hasn't really gotten the chance to come in an produce, since Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are playing very well for the Grizzlies, so hopefully, more minutes and a greater role will allow him to develop into the player many thought he would be coming out of college.

In his best season, his last year at UConn, Thabeet averaged a double-double (13.6 and 10.8) and 4.2 blocks. He was a monster at the defensive end.

Probably his most famous game was recording a triple-double against Providence in 2009.

He had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 blocks in the game.

If he can turn the Rockets' defensive problems around, they have an outside chance to contend for the final playoff spot in the West, as well as a very good chance to be contenders next season with at least two potential lottery picks.