Donatas Motiejunas' Back Injury Voids Trade Between Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers

By Brad Berreman

The 2016 NBA trade deadline was a big letdown in terms of notable moves, with no big names moving teams. A three-team trade between the Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers stood out to some degree, with details as follows:

Pistons get:

-forward/center Donatas Motiejunas (from Houston)
-guard Marcus Thornton (from Houston)

Rockets get:

-top-eight protected first-round pick (from Detroit)

-draft rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum (from Philadelphia)

76ers get:

-forward Joel Anthony (from Detroit)

-second-round pick (from Houston)

Thornton and Motiejunas were the notable names in the deal, but the latter’s health was a question from the start. Motiejunas’ physical with Detroit was delayed enough that the Pistons asked for and received a 24-hour extension, on the original 72-hour window to get it done, and the deal was still voided on Monday.

The 76ers’ involvement in the deal looked token and still does, since they’ll just get the draft rights to Maduabum back and not get a second-round pick from Houston. In a trade where the Pistons and Rockets will both lose something of value, potential or implied, Philadelphia does not lose much with the deal being voided.

It’s worth wondering why the Pistons even originally agreed to take on damaged goods like Motiejunas, since he has not played since December and doesn’t appear close to returning to action. But the Rockets seem to be getting the shortest end of the stick as a result of the trade being voided, since they were slated to get an extra first-round pick and could have unloaded Motiejunas too.

 

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