Detroit Pistons acquire G Marcus Thornton from Houston Rockets

The Sports Xchange
Former Brooklyn Nets guard Marcus Thornton. UPI/John Angelillo
Former Brooklyn Nets guard Marcus Thornton. UPI/John Angelillo | License Photo

The Detroit Pistons continued their aggressive week on Thursday, acquiring shooting guard Marcus Thornton and forward Donatas Motiejunas from the Houston Rockets for backup center Joel Anthony and a protected first-round pick in 2016.

The Philadelphia 76ers then acquired Anthony and a 2017 second-round pick from Houston as part of the multi-team trade that included the Sixers sending the rights to Chukwudiebere Maduabum to the Rockets.


The Pistons (27-27) are one game out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference but ranked 24th in 3-point shooting percentage before team president/coach Stan Van Gundy made his second trade of the week to possibly address the issue. On Monday, the Detroit sent guard Brandon Jennings and forward Ersan Ilyasova to the Orlando Magic for forward Tobias Harris.

"We're happy to welcome Donatas and Marcus to the Pistons family," Pistons general manager Jeff Bower said. "We like Donatas' size, his skill level and his ability to play two frontcourt positions. Marcus adds scoring punch to our bench with his ability to create his own shot and make plays."

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Thornton averaged 10 points in 47 games for the Rockets and has made 33.8 percent (73-of-216) of his 3-pointers this season. In 436 games for the New Orleans Pelicans, Sacramento Kings, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Phoenix Suns and Houston, Thornton has averaged 12.4 points per game while shooting 35.9 percent from 3-point range.

Thornton signed a one-year deal with the Rockets last summer at the minimum salary of and was traded at the deadline for the third straight season.

Montiejunas has been limited to 14 games after undergoing back surgery last March and averaged 5.6 points while shooting 41.2 percent from 3-point range. He has been on a rehab assignment in the NBA Developmental League but returned to practice Wednesday.

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In 191 games for the Rockets, Montiejunas averaged eight points while shooting 31.9 percent from 3-point range. The 25-year-old Lithuanian native started 62 of 71 games last season and averaged 12 points.

The 33-year-old Anthony appeared in 13 games for the Pistons this season and has averaged 2.2 points in 465 career games for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Pistons.

The move could be the precursor to a bigger trade for the underwhelming Rockets (27-28), who sit in ninth in the Western Conference after reaching the conference finals last season. In recent days, reports have surfaced about Houston possibly trading center Dwight Howard, who can opt out of his contract signed before the 2013-14 season.

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After obtaining Anthony, the Sixers waived guard-JaKarr Sampson.

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