After a trade sent him from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Denver Nuggets during the free-wheeling final hour of the trade deadline, 6’9″ forward and former fifth overall pick Thomas Robinson has had discussions with five teams looking to retain his services, with the Nets included, per RealGM’s Shams Charania:
Thomas Robinson has had discussions with the Spurs, Nets, Suns, Heat and Hornets, completing DEN buyout Sunday, league sources tell RealGM.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) February 22, 2015
It’s not clear what precisely will move the needle on Robinson, whether it’s playing time, championship contention, a sunny view, or some other factor. The Nets do have a roster spot open, and Robinson said in pre-draft interviews that the Nets were his preferred destination.
Robinson’s career hasn’t progressed as you might expect from a top-5 pick. Despite a decorated college career at Kansas University as a consensus All-American in his junior year, the NBA team he signs with will be his fourth in three years, and he’s yet to secure a regular starting spot at any of his stops. Through 32 games with the Trail Blazers this season, Robinson has averaged 3.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in 12.2 minutes per game, but has struggled to make a meaningful impact off the bench.
Given the state of the Nets roster, it’s also a bit surprising they’d go after another big man, after acquiring hybrid forward Thaddeus Young at the trade deadline to shore up the front line. The Nets also lack healthy depth at point guard, as both Deron Williams (rib cartilage) and Jarrett Jack (hamstring) have dealt with recent injuries. But Robinson’s a plus rebounder, something the Nets lack with Garnett’s departure, and at 22-31, they could use all the help they can get.