NBA Trades: Houston Rockets Make Last Minute Moves, Trade Brooks And Battier

Sam McIntoshCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 20:  Shane Battier #31 of the Houston Rockets in action against the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena on December 20, 2010 in Oakland, California. 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 Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Coming right down to the wire, General Manger Daryl Morey lived up to his aggressive reputation and sent two well-liked Rockets out of town.

Shane Battier was traded to the Memphis Grizzlies for Hasheem Thabeet and a first round draft pick, while Aaron Brooks was sent to Phoenix for Goran Dragic and another pick.

Thabeet is a work-in-progress out of Uconn, where he was a supreme defensive talent with a lot of promise. He has taken a few steps back since entering the NBA, but with his 7-foot-3 frame, Thabeet has a lot of upside and great potential. If he can become half the defensive force he was in college, the Rockets will be in good shape down low.

Dragic is a very talented young point guard from Slovenia. He possesses the hard working attitude that has become a staple of the Rockets in recent years. Dragic can create plays off the bench and shoots well from behind the arc. It's also very interesting to consider the fact Dragic has been sitting behind future Hall-of-Famer Steve Nash since entering the league.

These roster moves indicate Morey and the Rockets don't have high expectations for this season. In collecting more draft picks and dropping below the luxury tax, the Rockets are in great position for long-term success. They have essential assets to use in trades, including multiple first round draft picks over the next few seasons and will finally get Yao's huge contract off the books. 

Morey surely has the 2012 free agent class in mind. A class which will include Deron Williams, Gerald Wallace, Chris Paul and Dwight Howard to name a few. The 2011 free agent class, although less significant, will include Zach Randolph and Kendrick Perkins.

The Rockets may not make the playoffs this season, but playing the field and making the right moves could set the Rockets up for a repeat of 1994 in the near future.