HOUSTON (KTRK) --The Houston Rockets have made a move before the trade deadline, but it might not have been the one you expected.
Eyewitness Sports has learned that Houston sent Donatas Motiejunas and Marcus Thornton to the Detroit Piston in exchange for Joel Anthony and a protected 2016 first-round pick.
It was speculated that earlier this month that the Rockets were trying to trade Dwight Howard, but the 2pm trade deadline passed without a deal. There was also not a deal for point guard Ty Lawson, who had been mentioned in trade talks.
The Rockets were willing to let Motiejunas go despite being high on his ability to pass well and hit midrange jumpers.
He averaged a career-high 12.0 points last season, but suffered a back injury late in the season. Motiejunas encountered numerous setbacks during his recovery from back surgery and has been limited to 14 games this season, averaging 5.6 points.
Thornton, 28, was acquired in the offseason as jump shooter who provides instant offense. After not playing in first two games of the season, Thornton was inserted and helped the Rockets on the offensive end, averaging 10.0 points this season. However, his minutes fluctuated when the Rockets wanted more defensive players on the floor.
Anthony, a 33-year-old backup center, has seen limited actions for the Pistons this season, averaging 1.2 rebounds and 0.7 points per game.