Mar 24, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets power forward Thomas Robinson (41) dribbles against the San Antonio Spurs during the first half at the Toyota Center. The Rockets won 96-95. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Rockets Race for the Prize


The race for the prize is on as Thomas Robinson is said to be going to the highest bidder. The second year forward was the fifth pick in last year’s draft and with his next move will have been traded twice. And by now you realize he isn’t the prize everyone is racing for.

The Houston Rockets are determined to trade forward Thomas Robinson – the fifth pick in the 2012 NBA draft – to create salary-cap space for the pursuit of Los Angeles Lakers‘ free-agent superstar Dwight Howard, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.

The Rockets have made clear to multiple rival teams that they plan to accept the best offer to move Robinson and eliminate his $3.52 million salary for the 2013-14 season.

Without Robinson’s salary, the Rockets will have the space to offer Howard a maximum deal starting at approximately $20.5 million a season.

Houston is competing mainly with Dallas – and possibly Golden State – to lure Howard once free agency commences on July 1. Howard has become increasingly intrigued with the Rockets as a possible destination, sources said. Houston’s supporting cast, including James Harden and Chandler Parsons, is one of the reasons.

The Rockets are targeting teams with the cap space to absorb Robinson’s contract. The Rockets are trying to cobble together a package that could include assets such as a trade exception, a draft pick or non-guaranteed contracts that they can be unloaded, sources said.

The Rockets are the second team to give up on Robinson since he came out of Kansas considered one of the most prepared prospects in the class. Robinson, a 6-foot-10 forward, struggled to earn time on the lowly Kings and never showed the Rockets the promise that led them to trade for him in February.

Robinson, 22, averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds playing a combined 70 games for the Rockets and Kings. Sacramento traded him to Houston in a package that included Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt for Patrick Patterson, Cole Aldrich, Toney Douglas and cash.

Tags: Dwight Howard Houston Rockets Los Angeles Lakers Nba Free Agency Nba Trade Rumors Thomas Robinson