The Houston Rockets have traded Thomas Robinson to the Portland Trail Blazers.
UPDATE: Wednesday, July 10, at 1:40 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
The Portland Trail Blazers have officially acquired Thomas Robinson from the Houston Rockets, the team announced.
The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired forward Thomas Robinson from the Houston Rockets in exchange for the NBA rights to Kostas Papnikolaou and Marko Todorovic along with two future second round picks, it was announced today by General Manager Neil Olshey...
... 'Thomas is a dynamic young big man with tremendous upside,” said Olshey. “He is an elite athlete and brings a unique set of physical tools to our roster. He has the potential to be one of the best young power forwards in the league and his development will be a priority for us.'
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Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports originally reported the news:
Houston has traded Thomas Robinson to the Portland Trail Blazers, league source tells Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2013
Portland will send Houston two future second-round picks and the draft rights to two foreign players, league sources tells Y!— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2013
The two international players are Kostas Papanikolaou and Marko Todorovic, according to Wojnarowski:
Portland will send the rights to Kostas Papanikolau and Marko Todorovic to the Rockets, league sources tell Y! Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2013
It was widely expected that the Rockets would trade Robinson this summer in order clear cap space and go after free agent-to-be Dwight Howard.
Robinson, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 draft, hasn't even played two seasons yet in the NBA and he's already been on three teams. The 22-year-old was traded from the Sacramento Kings to the Rockets in February.
Robinson averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in just over 15 minutes per game with the Kings and Rockets last season. He registered a PER of 10.97. While he shot 43 percent from the floor, some believe the potential is still there at just 22 years of age.
With free agency officially beginning on Monday, Howard is set to meet with the Rockets first, according to Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com. In fact, the Rockets are feeling confident about their chances of landing the 27-year-old center, according to Wojnarowski:
Houston is confirming the confidence most have that they're the strong frontrunners to sign Dwight Howard.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 1, 2013
It makes sense why Howard might go to Houston. The Rockets have an impressive core consisting of All-Star James Harden, point guard Jeremy Lin, small forward Chandler Parsons and defensive stopper Omer Asik. They battled the Oklahoma City Thunder hard this past postseason before eventually falling in six games.
A one-two punch of Harden and Howard, combined with some nice complementary pieces, could see the Rockets do big things next season.