The Houston Rockets are planning an attempt to trade Thomas Robinson in a move to clear salary-cap space to sign free-agent center Dwight Howard, Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday.
Wojnarowski reported that the Rockets are willing to accept the best offer for Robinson, who was the fifth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft. If they are able to clear Robinson's salary, they would likely have room to offer Howard a maximum-salary contract.
According to Wojnarowski, the Rockets will be vying for Howard's services along with the Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors.
The 22-year-old Robinson averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds last season with both the Rockets and Sacramento Kings.
The one advantage the Lakers have in upcoming negotiations with Howard is the ability to offer him more money to stay in Los Angeles. Under the collective bargaining agreement, Howard can sign a five-year, $118 million contract to stay with the Lakers, or a four-year, $87.6 million deal with another team. The Lakers, however, will be hamstrung in any attempt to improve their roster if they re-sign Howard.
After the Lakers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, Howard didn’t give any indication of whether he was planning to re-sign with the team.
“For me, I’m going to do what’s best for myself, what’s going to make me happy,” Howard said. “At the end of the day, I can’t control who likes me and who dislikes me but I have the right to be happy. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s the biggest thing right there.”