The trade deadline deal between the Detroit Pistons and Houston Rockets will be voided over concerns about the health of Donatas Motiejunas’ back.
The Detroit Pistons thought they were getting some bench pieces to help make a run to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference but the trade with the Houston Rockets has fallen apart. Donatas Motiejunas has been limited this season following back surgery and after consulting with a specialist and team doctors, the traded will be voided.
The Pistons could have assumed some risk and accepted the deal despite concerns about Motiejunas but clearly the risk-reward balance was not what they initially thought when making the deal hours before last week’s trade deadline. Allowing the trade to go through would have been a boost for the Pistons bench with Thornton added to the mix, but the Pistons would have to know they’d get something out of Motiejunas before agreeing to give up Anthony and the draft pick.
Motiejunas will be a restricted free agent in the offseason so adding him would have allowed the Pistons to have some control over whether or not he had a future with the team long-term. They could still have interest in the offseason but stand the risk of having an offer matched and would have cap money tied up in the offer sheet while in limbo.
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The team must feel this is the right decision in the long-run but is a blow in the short-term at a time when the team could use a boost. Already losers of five in a row, the Pistons face the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road tonight.