NBA trade deadline 2016: Pistons get Donatas Motiejunas, Marcus Thornton
The Detroit Pistons were the first team to make noise at the 2016 NBA Trade Deadline as they went out and grabbed Tobias Harris in a deal. They weren't going to stop there, though, as they reportedly were still shopping around the league for more moves. They have reportedly found one, a trade that will land them Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets.
Just a few minutes after reports surfaced that the Pistons were making the offer to Houston for Motiejunas, Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical and Yahoo! Sports reported that the deal has been finalized and the Motiejunas in addition to Thornton will be going to Detroit:
In return, the Rockets will take back veteran center Joel Anthony as was initially reported, but will also be getting the Pistons' 2016 first-round pick that is top-8 protected:
It's intriguing that the Pistons were willing to give up an asset like their first-round pick for Motiejunas, who has been dealing with back injuries for most of this season and one who will enter restricted free agency this summer. With the push that the Pistons are making, their pick is almost definitely going to be outside of the lottery and will thus transfer to Houston this summer.
That being said, a healthy Motiejunas could really give Houston some dangerous versatility in their frontcourt in terms of his ability to stretch the floor a bit and to work in the pick-and-roll. Moreover, Thornton is a nice addition as he can provide much needed shooting off of the bench.
As for the Rockets, they not only get a first-rounder out of the deal, but also open up a roster spot and fall below the hard salary cap. Though there is downside for the Pistons in this move given Motiejunas' health, this could wind up being a good move for both sides.