As general managers of any team goes, let alone a team that is three seasons removed from being in the playoffs, Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey is a pretty popular guy. Yes, he's accessible and honest and willing to explain the deals he makes (or doesn't make) in just the right amount of detail.
Soon enough, Morey's non-stop wheeling and dealing (and "non-stop" is not an exaggeration...Chandler Parsons, halfway through his second season in the league, is the most tenured Rocket) will result in postseason success and give people plenty of "basketball reasons" to like him as well.
For now, though, absent that postseason success, there are folks who think Daryl Morey gets a pass from the media and some fans. So when he pulls off another highway robbery like the Thomas Robinson trade with Sacramento on Wednesday night and has praise heaped upon him from all corners of social media, the Morey skeptics blame the praisers of blind faith, if not out and out Morey Myopia.
There is one way to gauge the sanity (or insanity) of Rocket fan reactions to this deal, however.
While it is possible to have two teams benefit from a trade, it's almost impossible to have two teams feel like they flat-out got over on the other team. That was the Thomas Robinson deal. Rocket fans were so giddy over this trade that many were wondering "What the hell is Sacramento thinking??"
So if the vast majority of Rocket fans like a deal, hell love a deal, to the extent that the Rockets just flat-out got over on the other team and made themselves better at the expense of the other party, then in theory fans of said other team should be livid over the deal.
Well, Kings fans are livid over the Thomas Robinson deal.
The anger is coming from all corners of the internet (and presumably talk radio and around every water cooler in the greater Sacramento area). For example, there are the following comments on the Robinson trade thread on kingsfans.com (h/t to Twitter follower @JarredMorris for the link to this forum):
What the..........?????????? WHY AND WHY AND WHY?!?!?!? -- theclash4u5
This is so goddamn strange. Doesn't make sense on any level. And I say this as someone who doesn't think Robinson was any sort of a lock to make it in this league. Patterson is better than him right now, but good lord, you should be able to get more than that.MassachusettsKingsFan
also love the fact that we just picked up ANOTHER mediocre PG, and didnt unload any of the ones we already had. cant wait to see a IT/Brooks/Douglas/MT/Reke lineupReke 13 Havoc
We get a TOP 5 pick, get an athletic rebounding power forward WHO HAS SHOWN that he is coachable and WILLING to be a team player and HAS GOTTEN BETTER over his rookie season for a spot up stretch power forward who can't rebound plus ANOTHER back up PG. Wtf is wrong with the front office. Might as well trade next years lottery pick. I'm so pissed right now.DeeKay2o9
Explain to me again why Robinson was chosen over Drummond? Oh yeah the risk. We've been bent over as fans yet again by the Maloofs.JB_Kings
And Lillard... yeah we could have had him as well. Gawd I feel like kicking a Maloof right now.JB_Kings
(Poor JB_Kings. Dude was hurting. Okay, a few more...) Are you freaking kidding me!!!!! Absolutely pathetic. I mean, what the freaking hell is this kind of deal? Looking forward to watching Trob tear it up in Houston. Go to hell Petrie....The_Jamal
I'm firmly of the belief that the Maloofs are evil and actually have a vendetta against Sac, and maybe it did cross my mind that this trade is just to ruin the franchise for the fans in the futureKingsfan23
I think I'm done with the Kings after this trade. At least until a new ownership is in. I'd rather watch the team in Seattle instead of put up with the ****ing Maloofs any longer. Unbelievable trade, I can't believe the NBA is allowing it.xyrin
There are literally 15 more pages of message board anger (mostly anger, a few people trying to talk themselves into the deal) if you want to go feel really good about where the Rockets are right now, and be really thankful this management team never chose to "bottom out" for a high draft pick.
And then, of course, Twitter weighed in on the deal:
Struggle #372 of being a Sacramento Kings fan: giving away any potential talent for cash because the Maloofs are bankrupt.
— Alex Bair (@alex_bair) February 21, 2013
It's so fucking hard to be a Sacramento Kings fan. Fuck the trade we had today.
— TheeBeastradamus (@Beastradamus) February 21, 2013
For those that enjoy mocking my favorite basketball team, have at it.No defending stupid behavior in the street tinyurl.com/9m5feme
— The Hype Machine (@Trevor_Adams) September 23, 2012
Kevin Martin-Carl Landry deal came together out of nowhere, too. Morey must have data on when Petrie sleepwalks.
— Tom Ziller (@teamziller) February 21, 2013
— Brian LaPask (@blapask) February 21, 2013
— Matt Parker (@MattPE) February 21, 2013
And then finally there was this tour de force from the Kings SB Nation site sactownroyalty.com written by Tom Ziller, where he destroys Joe and Gavin Maloof for being a couple of penny-pinching clowns with one collective clown shoe out the door before they sell this team after the season:
The piece is equal parts disgust...
I hope that money is comfort when the Maloofs sit in their manses in Las Vegas or L.A. or wherever and watch the new era of the Kings, be it in Sacramento or Seattle, become ragingly successful thanks to "proper management" and "competitive investment." I hope that they consider it a worthy consolation prize as they come to grips with the reality that they will never ever ever ever ever ever ever own another major pro sports team in this country. Ever. I hope that as they Maloof their way through they take a moment to appreciate that prize of cold cash, and appreciate the expense of that everlasting quest for cold cash, the expense found in our furrowed brows and our auto-flagellated foreheads and our boiling blood and our leaden sighs. Every prize has its cost. The Maloofs' prize has for the past five years and potentially decades to come cost us our sanity. I hope it was worth it to you, Joe and Gavin.
...and rational analysis...
Patrick Patterson is a good player. When you're trading the No. 5 overall pick as a rookie, you've got to do a helluva lot better than "good." Only four other top-five picks have ever been traded as rookies, according to Elias. Derrick Favors got traded for Deron Williams. Drew Gooden got traded for a player one year removed from the Rookie of the Year award (Mike Miller) and a first-round pick. Chauncey Billups got traded for a 27-year-old one-time All-Star (Kenny Anderson). Donyell Marshall got traded for a All-Rookie team, 17-ppg big man who would go on to make an All-Star team (Tom Gugliotta). Patrick Patterson didn't even make the Rising Star Challenge as a rookie or sophomore. An All-Star nod seems out of the question.
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A piece well done, with a thoughtfulness befitting an organization much more deserving than the Sacramento Kings.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. weekdays, and watch the simulcast on Comcast 129 from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.