Detroit Pistons Acquire Forward Donatas Motiejunas and Guard Marcus Thornton
Team Sends Center Joel Anthony and Protected Draft Pick to Houston
AUBURN HILLS, Mich.– The Detroit Pistons announced today that the team has acquired forward/center Donatas Motiejunas and guard Marcus Thornton from the Houston Rockets in exchange for center Joel Anthony and a protected 2016 first-round draft pick.
“We’re happy to welcome Donatas and Marcus to the Pistons family,” said Jeff Bower, General Manager of the Detroit Pistons. “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. We thank Joel Anthony for his professionalism throughout his time here and we wish him the best going forward.”
Motiejunas, 7-0, 222, has appeared in 191 games in his four-year NBA career and averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists with the Rockets. He averaged career highs in points (12.0 ppg), rebounds (5.9 rpg), assists (1.8 apg), minutes (28.7 mpg), field goal percentage (.504) and games (71) last season.
A native of Lithuania, Motiejunas, 25, was the 20th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He played professionally in the Polish League during the 2011-12 season and led Prokom Gdynia to the Polish League Championship averaging 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds. He’s also played professionally in Italy and Lithuania and has been a member of the Lithuanian national team at both the youth and senior levels.
Thornton, a six-year NBA veteran, averaged 10.0 points and 1.4 assists in 47 games with the Rockets this season. In 436 career NBA games, he’s averaged 12.4 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists with New Orleans, Sacramento, Brooklyn, Boston, Phoenix and Houston. He averaged a career-high 18.7 points per game during the 2011-12 season as a member of the Sacramento Kings. Drafted 43rd overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Thornton’s draft rights were traded to the New Orleans Hornets.
Anthony, 33, saw action in 62 games as a Piston and averaged 1.5 points and 1.7 rebounds. He was acquired from the Boston Celtics on October 17, 2014 in exchange for Will Bynum and re-signed with the Pistons on July 20, 2015. An eight-year NBA veteran, Anthony has averaged 2.2 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 465 career games. He was a member of the HEAT’s 2012 and 2013 NBA Championship teams.