According to multiple reports that surfaced earlier today, the Blazers acquired Rockets power forward Thomas Robinson. In return, the Blazers will send the rights to Marko Todorovic (45th pick in 2013 draft), the rights to Kostas Papanikolaou (48th pick in 2012 draft), and two future second-round picks to Houston.
Robinson went 5th in the 2012 draft, right before Blazers guard Damian Lillard, to the Sacramento Kings. His time with the Kings came to an abrupt stop when he was traded less than halfway through the season to the Houston Rockets. In Houston, he wasn’t given much playing time to prove himself. With the Rockets pursuing Dwight Howard through free-agency, they needed to clear cap room, removing Robinson.
When rumors of the trade surfaced, people were unhappy with the Blazers because in his rookie year, he wasn’t producing as he was expected to do. He came into the league with high expectations and hasn’t lived up to them. To the people who have that mentality, I say “it was just his ROOKIE year!!!”
I’m sure Robinson will play at the level of play everyone expects of him, but I think he started at a position further away from where he needs to be than where everybody thought. I’m sure that sentence sounds confusing, so let me explain. Imagine his progression as a player as one timeline, with the right-most point being his ceiling. He started at the left-most point, but people thought he would be a further to the right.
In his first year in the league, Robinson averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds. Currently, Robinson isn’t the greatest offensive player, but can rebound, which will more than likely be the backbone of his game throughout his career. Playing behind Blazers All-Star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge will DEFINITELY help. Also, playing under Coach Stotts will help. Before coaching the Blazers, Stotts was an offensive coordinator for the Dallas Mavericks. He s responsible for Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki’s crazy one-legged post moves. It’ll be interesting to see how Robinson will look after the season, assuming he isn’t traded AGAIN.
I think this is a great move by Blazers GM Neil Olshey. I view this as a low risk, high reward situation, and I think that both the Blazers and Robinson will benefit from the trade. It brings depth to the Blazers down low, but is still a situation in which Robinson will get meaningful minutes.
How do you guys feel about the trade? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,