As we told you yesterday, the Houston Chronicle reported that the Rockets are in "advanced talks" to trade Thomas Robinson. It appears we have a firmer grasp on the details of that move now, thanks to Marc Stein of ESPN.
That means that as of now, it looks like the Cavaliers are in the lead to acquire last year's fifth overall pick. This isn't to say that Chicago couldn't throw in another pick as a sweetener, but as of this moment in time I think the odds look pretty decent that Robinson is in a Cavalier jersey next season.
Personally, I'm fine with this. He didn't have a great rookie season by any stretch, but his stats line up pretty well with another Big-12 product that recently entered the draft in Tristan Thompson. Athletically and size-wise, the two players are actually quite similar. Robinson, also like Thompson, is an excellent rebounder who averaged nearly 11 rebounds per-36 minutes last season. I also think he's more explosive around the rim than Thompson is and shows the same kind of potential defensively. He even showed some potential in limited midrange opportunities, shooting 37% from 16-23 feet (only on 35 attempts, but this is also a skill that showed slight potential in college). I'm not saying that I like Robinson more than Thompson (I don't), but I do think that the possibility exists that he can be a better player in the future.
Which is exactly why I have zero problem trading the 19th pick for him. If you can pick someone up with his potential, regardless of position, for a mid-first rounder, I think you do it. Even though it creates a potential log-jam in the front court with Anderson Varejao, Thompson, Nerlens Noel/Alex Len, Tyler Zeller, and potentially Marreese Speights (if he opts in), it's never a bad thing to have too many players. I'd certainly take Robinson over Zeller if you gave me the choice.
This is exactly the kind of "buy-low" opportunity the Cavaliers should be looking for, and I applaud Chris Grant in going for it.
Meanwhile, Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal is refuted the reported trade offer. He says that the Cavs are not interested in Robinson and would be surprised if the deal actually happens. Conflicting reports, y'all -- it's what the NBA Draft is all about.
Was told 2 weeks ago #Cavs weren't interested in T-Rob. From all indications, that hasn't changed. I'd say the Robinson for #19 isn't true— Jason Lloyd (@JasonLloydABJ) June 26, 2013