Report: Rockets near deal to trade Thomas Robinson… but to whom?

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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.