The San Antonio Spurs search for some help on the front line may come in the form of a trade, not a late round draft pick. Jonathan Feigan of the Houston Chronicle reports the Spurs are one of three teams in talks with the Houston Rockets about acquiring Thomas Robinson.
Feigan writes that the Rockets have had talks with the Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls about last year's fifth overall pick. The Rockets motivation behind trading Robinson is clearing as much cap space as possible to make a run at Dwight Howard. Earlier reports indicated the Rockets are looking for a first round draft pick in return to draft an international prospect. Interestingly, Feigan writes his sources don't think a trade with the Spurs would work straight up, presumably because their pick is so late.
While the Spurs pick might be too late in the draft for the Rockets, and we don't know it is, there are other ways the San Antonio could help Houston out. They could offer their pick and Matt Bonner for Robinson. Bonner's contract is only guaranteed for $1 million if he's waived before June 30th. That'd save the Rockets the money they're looking for. They could also offer Nando De Colo instead of the pick.
If you're wondering whether Robinson is worth that much, the answer is yes. He was a the fifth pick in last year's draft. He was an All-American at Kansas and led the team to the national championship game. When he got playing time in Sacramento, he provided hustle, energy and was a great rebounder. They inexplicably jerked his playing time around and then even more inexplicably traded him to Houston for Patrick Patterson. Unfortunately he got lost in the Rockets' shuffle as they made their run at the playoffs.
No telling whether this will happen, but we'll know by the time Thursday night rolls around. Stay tuned, Spurs fans.
UPDATE: Feigan now saying Spurs had interest but no deal will be struck between Spurs and Rockets.
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 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.
Photo: Sports Illustrated