It is common knowledge that the Rockets have been trying to clear salary in order to lure a big free agent to Houston, with Thomas Robinson being a likely casualty of any deal. That day is rapidly approaching, according to Jonathan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle, and the Cavaliers are apparently one of the suitors.
The Rockets are in advanced talks on a cap-clearing trade of forward Thomas Robinson, with a deal potentially "imminent," a person with knowledge of their plans said on Tuesday.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs have shown interest in Robinson, according to another individual with knowledge of the Rockets efforts to move Robinson’s $3.5 million salary next season. Though it would be difficult for the Spurs to make any sort of deal for Robinson directly with the Rockets and would likely have to add a third team in a larger deal.
The Rockets do not own a 1st round pick in this season's draft, meaning they could be looking to pick one up if they have found a guy they like. They also own the 34th pick, which means that they may not particularly be interested in the two early second rounders. My assumption is that the Cavaliers would probably have to part with the 19th pick in order to secure Robinson's services. The Spurs are interested and own only the 28th overall pick, which is probably better for the Rockets than both seconds. The 31 and 33rd picks may be appealing to the Rockets, however, due to the fact that they do not involve guaranteed contracts. It's obvious that the Rockets are trying to clear as much cap space as possible, so maybe they really want a bunch of 2nd rounders.
Despite being on record as loving the depth in this draft, I'd deal the 19th for Robinson. He is a year removed from the fifth overall pick in a solid draft class. Even though he was stuck in bad situations this year, Robinson still put up solid per-36 numbers of 11.4 points per game with 10.7 rebounds per game. You'd like to see him increase that 43% field goal percentage, but that seems artificially low for a guy that could score in college efficiently.
I think his worst case scenario is as an energy, first-guy-off-the-bench big, which is pretty much what you're getting with guys like Mason Plumlee at the 19th. But his ceiling is much higher than that in my opinion. If the Cavs acquire him, I'll run something of an in-depth report on his strengths and weaknesses.
Either way, this continues to signal that the Cavs are among the busiest teams this week before Thursday's draft.