The Houston Rockets have planned to move Thomas Robinson for a while — they need him off the books to make a full max-contract offer to Dwight Howard come July 1. And getting Howard is the top priority.
The Rockets are very close to getting that deal done, reports the Houston Chronicle. The question is with whom?
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.
The Cavaliers make far more sense here — Houston needs to make this trade without bringing salary back and the Cavaliers are under the cap and can absorb the $3.5 million Robinson will make next year. Plus it makes sense for the Cavaliers, who add last year’s No. 5 pick and a guy who looked pretty good when he got the chance to play a little last year.
The Spurs deal is more complex because a third team would need to come in to absorb salary. There could be another team that has been able to keep this quiet involved — the Bulls have a trade exception and there are more than a dozen teams with the cap room to make this deal happen.
The Rockets acquired Robinson from the Sacramento Kings in a trade deadline deal.
Something to watch, this probably goes down before the draft.
During the 2014-15 season, Rockets star James Harden said the Warriors “ain’t even that good.”
Golden State went on to reach the last three NBA Finals, twice beating Houston in the playoffs, and win two championships.
The Rockets have since re-tooled around Harden, Chris Paul and several quality role players and are in first place. Houston looks like the biggest threat to the Warriors in the Western Conference.
Rockets center Clint Capela on the Warriors, via Dave Schilling of Bleacher Report:
“I expect to beat them,” Capela says.
That’s a fine sentiment. Saying it publicly is another matter. Not even Harden did that a couple years ago. He was recorded during a pregame team huddle.
There’s a fine line between self-fulfilling confidence and providing bulletin-board material to the opponent. There’s already some animosity between the teams stemming from the Stephen Curry-Harden MVP race in 2015, and it has bubbled since. No matter how harmless Capela’s remark might have been intended to be, it’ll be met contentiously in the Bay Area.
Oklahoma City traded for Victor Oladipo out of Orlando to be their third scorer, behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It didn’t exactly work out that way, Durant bolted town and when Westbrook went off Oladipo was looking for a place to fit in.
That place turned out to be the Pacers.
Oladipo has been playing like an All-Star this season with Indiana, and last week he was key in snapping Cleveland’s 13 game win streak, then turned around and dropped 47 points on Denver. For the week he averaged 35.7 points a game, shot 45.7 percent from three, plus grabbed 7.7 rebounds per game.
That will get you named the PBT Extra Player of the Week.
Paul George – who told the Pacers he’d leave in free agency, prompting them to trade him to the Thunder – expected boos in his return to Indiana.
Pacers fans delivered.
They’ve also booed him every time he has touched the ball, which will certainly persist.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Point guard John Wall was in the Washington Wizards’ lineup Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies after missing nine games with a sore left knee.
Coach Scott Brooks said Wall would play in the mid-20-minute range, perhaps a bit more.
The Wizards (14-13), currently in first place in the Southeast Division, went 4-5 in Wall’s absence.
“He such a force offensively,” Brooks said of Wall. “He’s a two-way player and he’s one of the few guys in the league that can find open 3-point shooters going 100 miles an hour in transition.”
Wall, 27, is averaging 20.3 points and 9.2 assists per game.