Houston Rockets: The Market For Thomas Robinson

By Michael Ma

April 14, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Sacramento Kings power forward Thomas Robinson (41) on the bench against the Houston Rockets in the third quarter at the Toyota Center. The Rockets defeated the Kings 121-100. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret out of Red Nation in the past couple of weeks that Daryl Morey will look to trade Thomas Robinson to create more salary cap space in hopes of signing Dwight Howard on board.  Yahoo! Sports reported that the Rockets are not asking for too much in return:

The Rockets have made clear to multiple rival teams that they plan to accept the best offer to move Robinson and eliminate his $3.52 million salary for the 2013-14 season. Without Robinson’s salary, the Rockets will have the space to offer Howard a maximum deal starting at approximately $20.5 million a season.

The Rockets are targeting teams with the cap space to absorb Robinson’s contract. The Rockets are trying to cobble together a package that could include assets such as a trade exception, a draft pick or non-guaranteed contracts that can be unloaded, sources said.

Robinson averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 15 minutes last season.  After a month of being in the rotation with the Rockets after he was acquired from the Sacramento Kings, the 5th overall pick in 2012 moved to the bottom of the depth chart.  He didn’t see any action in the playoffs, and is currently behind Greg Smith, Terrence Jones, and Donatas Motiejunas at the power forward position.

While Robinson is still young and has a tremendous upside, the Rockets just don’t feel like he fits into their offensive plans, even if Howard doesn’t sign.  Houston is looking for power forwards who can stretch out, space the floor, and knock down three-pointers.  Robinson has shown that at this point, he is mostly a slasher.

There are a number of teams who have flexible cap positions and may want to take a shot on Robinson.  The Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, and Portland Trail Blazers have all expressed interest in making a deal.