The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired power forward, Thomas Robinson, from the Houston Rockets in exchange for two future 2nd round picks, the draft rights to Kostas Papanikolaou, and the draft rights to Marko Todorvic. The Rockets had been trying to trade Robinson in order to clear cap space while pursuing Dwight Howard.
Robinson was selected 5th in the 2012 NBA draft by the Sacramento Kings, but was traded to Houston at the February trade deadline. Both teams were burdened with a surplus of forwards and it just happened to work out in Portland’s favor in the long run. This deal is phenomenal for the Blazers, as Robinson is the quietly under-utilized monster of last year’s NBA Draft.
More amazingly, the Blazers managed to acquire him without moving any current pieces. The Blazers retained all the draft picks they had planned on using this year, as well as their starters, and even bench players. Robinson is only due $3.5 million for the 2013-2014 season and is the biggest steal Portland has acquired via trade since receiving the 6th pick that became Damian Lillard in the Gerald Wallace trade.
Honestly, I could sing Olshey’s praises until my vocal cords snap at this point. This bodes extremely well for the Blazers’ upcoming season and their future as a franchise. In the long run, Robinson could very easily become power forward insurance if LaMarcus decides to leave in 2015. Until then, he is a solid young backup for Aldridge, at 6’9”, 240 lbs of raw, moldable talent.
The Blazers depth chart for the 2013-2014 season now looks like:
PG: Damian Lillard | CJ McCollum
SG: Wesley Matthews | Allen Crabbe | Will Barton
SF: Nicolas Batum | Victor Claver
PF: LaMarcus Aldridge | Thomas Robinson | Joel Freeland
C: Meyers Leonard | Jeff Withey
Of course, this is assuming the Blazers do not re-sign any current free agents, which it does not appear that they will. This is one of those moves that almost makes too much sense to be taken seriously. Usually, I only get to fantasize about such arrangements, but as you can tell, I am on cloud 9 right now. The Blazers have one of the most promising young forwards in the NBA and they still have nearly $9 million left to spend in free agency (which begins in 3 hours).
Welcome to Rip City, T-Rob!