Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle wrote: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 Chicago Bulls 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. The Bulls may be interested in Robinson as part of a larger deal, the individual said.
San Antonio had been interested in Robinson but the teams are not in talks about a deal. 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 would want to move Robinson without bringing back corresponding salary to clear enough cap room to offer a max contract in free agency next month. They would have to clear roughly the equivalent of Robinson’s contract next season to have enough cap room to offer Dwight Howard his maximum salary.
There are 16 teams with the cap room, trade exceptions or non-guaranteed contracts needed to make such a deal without sending the Rockets corresponding salaries.
The Cavaliers can make that kind of deal with some of their available cap room. In addition to their own pick, the Cavaliers have the 19th pick and two second-round picks before the Rockets’ selection with the 34th pick.
The Bulls are over the cap, but have a trade exception that is large enough to make a deal that will expire next month. The Bulls have the 20th pick in the draft.
The Spurs have only their own pick, the 28th pick overall, in Thursday’s first round and would not seem to have a way to make such a trade possible directly with the Rockets.
If the Rockets move into the first round in Thursday’s draft, they could select an international prospect that would assure that he would stay overseas next season, allowing them to not use cap space with the pick. They could seek a future pick with the 2014 draft class expected to be unusually strong.
The Rockets could move two of their three rookies last season that were drafted in the first round to clear the cap room necessary, but would rather have to trade one of their prospects than two. The deal to acquire Robinson was made in part because of a belief that he would be easier to deal than Patrick Patterson or a combination of last season’s rookies.
The Rockets also could opt to make a cap-clearing deal next month if it becomes necessary and according to a person familiar with their thinking, would prefer to keep Robinson until the cap room is necessary to sign Howard. There have been indications, however, that teams have been more receptive to deals before the draft in order to be able to consider the acquisition when making their draft choices.
Sam Amico of Fox Sports wrote: Following a report by the Houston Chronicle that the Cavs have an interest in Houston Rockets forward Thomas Robinson, a source told FOX Sports Ohio that the potential deal is very much alive and that activity in talks between the teams increased Tuesday.
• The Cavs have also had discussions about possibly trading their two second-round picks (Nos. 31 and 33) to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics, sources confirmed.
• Apparently, the Cavs are working on logistics with the Rockets on a potential Robinson deal while attempting to keep another trade with the Mavericks alive.
Of course the Cavs would help Houston clear cap for Dwight if it meant getting him out of LA.