Friday, May 31, 2013

Houston looking to deal T-Rob

Former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson answers a question during interviews on Wednesday, June 27, in New York.

Former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson answers a question during interviews on Wednesday, June 27, in New York.


It looks as if top-five NBA Draft pick Thomas Robinson will be playing for his third NBA team next season — his second season as a pro.

Yahoo! Sports says the Houston Rockets have decided to deal the 6-foot-10, 237-pound former Kansas University power forward to a yet-to-be-determined team to create salary-cap space for free agent Dwight Howard.

Robinson, who started the 2012-13 season with the Sacramento Kings before getting traded to Houston, will make $3.52 million next season, money the Rockets need to shed from the payroll to land Howard.

Robinson averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 70 games his rookie season for Houston and Sacramento.

“The Rockets’ coaching staff prefers forwards who can space the floor with their shooting ability but the 6-foot-10 Robinson is a more traditional back-to-the-basket power forward,” writes Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The NBA’s free-agent period begins July 1. Former KU players Cole Aldrich (Kings) and Xavier Henry (Pelicans) are free agents. Josh Selby is also looking for a team after being released by Cleveland.

Paperwork, paperwork: KU did not officially announce the hiring of SMU’s Jerrance Howard as assistant coach Thursday. The announcement is expected to come at any time. Also, Iowa State has yet to announce the hiring of KU director of basketball operations Doc Sadler as assistant coach, which also is expected any day.

“Could formalizing a hire of someone like Doc Sadler to replace departed assistant T.J. Otzelberger be coming soon? Stay tuned,” writes Randy Peterson of the Des Moines Register. No other candidate has been mentioned as a possibility to join ISU coach Fred Hoiberg’s staff.

Roundball Classic: The fifth-annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic will be held at 7 p.m., June 13, at Free State High. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. The game, which raises money for local children battling cancer, will feature more than 20 former Jayhawks. There also will be a postgame autograph session and pregame concert. Tickets are available at the door before the game or at 23rd St. Brewery, AAA on Wanamaker in Topeka and Dr. Leiszler’s Dentistry in Baldwin. For information, go to

Elite Eight: Jahlil Okafor, a 6-10 senior from Chicago’s Whitney Young who is ranked No. 1 in the Class of 2014, said Monday his eight finalists are: KU, Arizona, Baylor, Duke, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan State and Ohio State. Another top Chicago recruit that figures to hear from former University of Illinois player and assistant Howard is No. 5 Cliff Alexander, 6-8 from Chicago Curie, who has not mentioned KU prominently in the past.

Kevin McLemore to Brown Mackie: Ben McLemore’s brother, Kevin, a 6-foot guard from St. Louis’ Normandy High, has signed to play at Brown Mackie College, the Salina Journal reports. He averaged 14.7 points last season.

“This is Kevin McLemore, not Ben McLemore,” Brown Mackie coach Francis Flax said. “They look identical. People who saw him when he was here thought he was Ben. He’s a slasher-type. He has a really good mid-range game. He gets into the lane and can score in a variety of ways. He has a high basketball IQ.”

Ben’s No. 1: ESPN’s Jay Bilas ranks Ben McLemore his top prospect in the NBA Draft, projecting him as a “starter to all-star.”

“Overview: McLemore is the player in this draft who is most likely to mature into an All-Star. His talents are considerable. The only question is whether he has the temperament and assertiveness to be a star performer on the NBA level. If selected by a team with an established star, McLemore can have the room to mature into one himself,” Bilas writes.

Bilas lists Jeff Withey No. 22, listing him as a “rotation player.”

“Withey will be able to protect the rim in the NBA and can challenge shooters around the goal and do so without fouling. He can make open shots, but is otherwise limited in the post. He lacks physical strength in getting and holding position against physical post players,” Bilas writes.


Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 4 months ago

Too bad to see TRob bouncing around like that, but I guess he's not hurting for $$. He can hire someone to move all his stuff, so I hope he lands with a team that can really play him so he'll be able to boost his NBA game. Go Thomas!

And I sure wish I was in the neighborhood for that Roundball Classic. Sounds like Scot Pollard and all the usual suspects will be on hand, no doubt. What a gas!

Summer hoops in Lawrence, good as it gets...

KJD 9 years, 4 months ago

Robinson's pro career is starting to remind me of Drew Gooden. Both are Power Forwards who entered the draft as Junior's following seasons that were runner-up quality for National Player of the Year. Each have niche roles in the NBA due to exceptional traits of athleticism. If this trend keeps up for Thomas then they both end up as NBA journey men.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

I can see why you might compare both players with a quick glance but statistically it just isn't true. Other than they are both power forwards and traded after their first season, I don't see any other comparisons.

Drew Gooden had far more success than TRob including his first season. Averaging 13 ppg and 8 rpg Drew beat Robinson in just about every category there is in his rookie season.

Also, I would disagree that Drew Gooden has what you call a niche role. Starting 493 times and playing in 687 while averaging 27 min. per game over his career isn't a niche roll.

I hope that Robinson will be around after his 10th season as Gooden has done (and also signing a five-year contract for 32 million in his last contract) but unless TRob finds himself in a better situation, he will not have much of a career in the NBA.

As a side note.. Drew Gooden has invested in a new chain of restaurants called Wing Stop and is opening four new franchises in the Orlando area where he lives in the off-season.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 4 months ago

He's seemed depressed and very prayerful on his recent tweets.

today... thomas robinson ‏@Trobinson0 11h
I ain't worried I know GOD got me ! #teamfoe

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 4 months ago

“This is Kevin McLemore, not Ben McLemore,” Brown Mackie coach Francis Flax said. “They look identical.

Identical - except for those 5+ inches in height.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 4 months ago

Is trying to find his way like all young people do. Wonder how his status educationally stacks up towards his degree? The longer you wait to go back to school the more difficult it can be. Cole has his now-look what it's done for Milt Newton or Kevin Pritchard. While college is still fresh in his mind he should continue the path towards his degree. Is the smartest "move" he will ever learn.

Tim Quest 9 years, 4 months ago

Do you understand how professional sports works? He got traded, he's not wandering from team to team in a quest for personal growth.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 4 months ago

Welcome back! After viewing your posts that haven't been removed, at least I must say you're a consistent whiner, and no one should take your comments personal. Even though you do not comment that often, at least your post is inline with history. But no one really cares if you prefer to be a jerk on an internet chat page. However if a comment about so & so that needs to find another job in the future offends you, then I'd say you're the one with the problem that needs to be adjusted. Don't stay away so long next time, we'll be happy to endorse your futility whenever we get the call! Hurry back!

Jeff Coffman 9 years, 4 months ago

TRob doesn't have the outside jumper like many of the 4s and even some of the 5s have now. He needs a place that has the ability to space floor so he can hit the inside shot. He historically has missed a lot of bunnies as well. I think of Blake Griffin, if TRob could get a point guard like that it would make it interesting.

I think TRob will go somewhere where the position is more of a need and that will help him develop.

doubled96 9 years, 4 months ago

Agree with your overall assessment. He misses bunnies because he unfortunately doesn't have touch. That comment came from a former teammate of his in the NBA who's opinion I respect. He was forced to score at KU his senior year, but he is not a scorer by nature. If he could embrace a role as a Dennis Rodman type player (rebounding, defense, energy type player who can make the open shot), he could flourish and have a long NBA career.

KemDooKU 9 years, 4 months ago

You can see why the NBA drafts on potential and not current skill level - Robinson may be maxed out on potential and that's why these teams are shopping him - So what you see is what you get and not what you hope you get three years down the line-

Hawk8086 9 years, 4 months ago

I have always loved TRob's althleticism, heart, and desire. I always thought he could develop into a Kenneth Faried type of player......maybe he still can. So far his lack of offensive game appears to be holding him back in the short run more than people thought (based on his status in last year's draft).

kellerman411 9 years, 4 months ago

How stupid do the teams that took Brad Beal and MKG look now? What about the team that passed Damian Lillard to pick up T-Rob? I'll admit I was screaming at the television after picks 3 and 4.

Let's call it what it is. For now, it's a bust. Not an epic one, he has shown some things. It's just that being drafted top 5 should equal some solid production or promise and it's just not there as of now. You can't blame the teams for trying to unload him while he still at least has some marketability and name recognition.

T-Rob is the same size as Lebron James. Obviously, a bad comparison but the contrast in their skill set is enormous. He still has a chance though. A lottery pick usually gets 3 years at least. He can still save this thing but he will need to retool his entire game.

Honestly, I think it's a long shot but I'm pulling for him. Either way, I'm glad he got a lottery contract out of college. The kid deserved it.

kellerman411 9 years, 4 months ago

I agree, I think Robinson can have a nice journeyman career in the right situation. Have you checked out Morri lately? They're actually playing and dare I say playing pretty darn good. They're both averaging around 20 minutes with 8-9 points and a few rebounds. That is a line that will keep them in the league for years to come. I don't think they've hit their ceiling either.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 4 months ago

Just a throwout stat..not to prove anything:

Lebron Championships in 9 years = 1

Magic Championships in 9 years = 5

I would take Magic over LeBron in a New York minute...

Boouk 9 years, 4 months ago

Why are Tyus Jones and Jahlil Okafor considering Baylor?

KGphoto 9 years, 4 months ago

Why does ANYBODY EVER consider Baylor?

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago


Do Kenneth Star and the Bush Base ring a bell?

RockChalk26 9 years, 4 months ago

I question any organization who is looking to free up money for Dwight Howard.

KemDooKU 9 years, 4 months ago

Agreed - Dwight Howard is the NBA version of the Titanic

Greg Lux 9 years, 4 months ago

Even if he only plays a few years, he will have made about 3 to 5 million after Obama's share is taken out. That's a hell of a lot more money then he ever could have dreamed of a few years ago. He got to take care of his sister and secure his future if he just lives reasonably ( which most don't I know ). I think there is always a place in the league for a guy with Thomas talents. I hope he can mature his game and stay around. If the owners are not getting tired of throwing money at POTENTIAL by now, the last few drafts should be an eye opener. It's time to leave these kids in college and let them sort themselves out over 3 to 4 years. Come on NBA stop the stupidity.

Rock Chalk

KGphoto 9 years, 4 months ago

To be fair, the NBA got it right on 5 of the top 6 players, all of whom declared early. Of the top 4 picks, 3 were freshman and 1 a sophomore, and they all did very well. Pick #6 was Lilliard and he killed it last year for Portland. The #5 pick was TRob and nobody saw him busting like this.

The first senior taken was Tyler Zeller at #17. He had a serviceable season with 7.9/5.7 but he’s probably out of potential already. No other senior drafted in the first round made any impact. From there on out most of the draft picks spent time in the D-league.

I wish guys would stay in college longer too, but if a kid has talent, like the top 6 picks obviously do, you can’t be holding them back. They have a right to earn a living just like you and I.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 4 months ago

I consider the NBA the Black Hole of Basketball.....not to dissimilar from professional wrestling except the NBA refs are more corrupt and the NBA commissioner Stern is a bigger A-Hole than Vince McMahon.

The NBA is the place where Dr Naismith's Game goes to die and is replaced by some bizarre mutation. Sorry, NBA fans if I offend anyone, but I haven't warched a game since the days of Michael, Magic and Bird.

I always wish the very best for all the Jayhawks that go forward to "The Show", but I am comforted knowing I will be returning to Allen Field House every next season for real basketball.

Ethan Berger 9 years, 4 months ago

There is a savior in the NBA in the form or Pop and the Spurs. They play real ball, would love for Trob to get there somehow.

KGphoto 9 years, 4 months ago

I like Pop a lot but The Spurs are not exempt. They flop and travel and elbow just like the rest of the league.

Benz Junque 9 years, 4 months ago

If you haven't watched a game since the days of Michael, Magic and Biord then how do you have any clue what the state of NBA basketball is?

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

The NBA will remain a game in a cup de sac at least until Stern leaves, or until the top 50 NCAA D1 programs ally to start their own professional league. As with all cartels, there is nothing wrong with the NBA that a little competition wouldn't cure.

Keith Kienzle 9 years, 4 months ago

What's a cup de sac jaybate? I looked it up, and variants, and got nothing. I was hoping to learn a new french phrase, and, if it was misspelled, take a guess as to whether you butchered it intentionally because you find that funny (I do).

TheBoHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

I think the single biggest reason most people perceive the NBA as so much different/terrible in comparison to the college game all stems from the 24 second shot clock. The style of offensive sets you have time to run after you're down to 18 seconds - or less (after crossing half court) is completely different than college. The clocks affect on the game is all encompassing.

Waylon Cook 9 years, 4 months ago

Loved T Rob but I think many people knew he wasn't going to be an All Star. I was honestly shocked he was drafted so high but then again the pro scouts are super smart!(sarcasm)

Withey is going to be Duncans replacement at San Anton. But will they have to trade up to get him? Withey is likely going to be one of KU's better NBA players in recent memory.(of course saying that people will look at me like I am on fire)

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 4 months ago

T.Rob's better than Houston would make it seem though.

I recall one game where EVERY PLAYER got minutes but him. Box Score said - "DNP - COACHES' DECISION".....seems weird that Kevin McHale a "true PF" would be disinclined to give T.Rob a chance. :(

What team needs a good presence at the "4"? Ummmm, how about New York or Brooklyn? They've got C's but who are their PF's. Brooklyn at least has Andray Blatche. New York has often been playing Carmelo out of position at the "4". They've got two C's in T. Chandler & A. Stoudemire but no real "4". His family's in D.C., but theyv'e got some depth there already.

Could be some possibilities in Atlanta, Charlotte or Philly that's out that way though too so...

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 4 months ago

Opening segment makes mention of T. Rob, Selby, X. Henry & Aldrich.

They failed to make mention that Brandon Rush will also be a Free Agent and is expected to recover from the injury that took him out early for this past season.

I have a feeling that Aldrich is staying where he's at. T.Rob? I'll say Phoneix, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta, Philly in that order. I could see Selby out at Golden State being given a chance. X. Henry's shown the least promise of the 4 in my opinion even though he hadn't been in the D-League like Selby. I'll say Dallas as cheap-filler there after they spend big $s somewhere else.

Hoping Mc gets selected by the Magic....seems like he'd be a good fit there. And even though they had the worst record they lost a lot of games to injury from both Glen Davis and Jameer Nelson. I don't think that they're TRULY the worst team in the leauge.....would seem like that's more down to Charlotte or Phoenix. Honestly, of former Jayhawks now in the NBA....the one who seems like he has the best chance to make some noise in the next few years would be D. Arthur if he could get off the Grizzlies (backing up Z. Randolph) and on to another team where he'd get more play.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 4 months ago

Nothing kills a message board like the NBA.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 4 months ago

My thoughts exactly!!!

I also agree with JB....competition is the spice that makes the stew savory!!

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

The best fit for T-Rob is San Antonio with Pop. Backing up Tim Duncan over the last couple of seasons of Duncan's career would be the jackpot for Robinson. Unfortunately when Duncan retires, so will Pop and Robinson's ideal system fit. I never understood the purpose of trading for Robinson when there were much better options to trade for to clear cap space to make a run at Howard.

REHawk 9 years, 4 months ago

Well, whatever happens to T-Rob, he is going to bank a bundle. If he should follow in the footsteps of Dwight Gooden he will clock multi multi millions. I hope he is calm enough to harbor those dollasr...and that he has gotten superior investment assistance to hold onto it for the golden years. Right now his game demands patience, perseverance and some good luck. Can't burn out that fine motor with desperation.

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

TRob needs an advisor to tell him to invest his checks, hang for a second contract, use all his spare time taking acting lessons, and then follow in the footsteps of Dwayne Johnson, who though only 6-3, towers over movie actors. Dwayne Johnson is going to need a villain in a few years, once Dwayne becomes the monster action adventure hero he is going to become. Dwayne will need TRob the way Vin Diesel needed Dwayne. TRob probably needs to join WWE for a couple of years, then take the step into acting. Thomas Robinson could become the greatest action adventure hero of all time. His goal should be to become the first African American Superman in the Superman franchise. TRob is just awesomely photogenic. The camera loves this guy. And he's got just enough squareness of structure in the face to do close ups. And he's got that awesome inverted pyramid physique, which way beyond prison body, like Dwayne Johnson's is, and into demigod category.

The pro game is nuts. Unless you can sting the ring from three, you're increasingly nothing. Let them give you the money while prepare for an assault on Hollywood.

JakeBarnes 9 years, 4 months ago

Absolutely correct regarding investing wisely. Despite all that is written regarding TRob's inability to hit from 13 feet out, his real problem is size. He had trouble keeping his position and rebounding at Houston. He just isn't tall enough. If he had rebounded well McHale would never trade him. McHale does have too many power forwards and unfortunately TRob is the logical person to move. I agree that Dwight Howard is an iffy acquisition. He could be great, but the NBA is loaded with "could-bes." I am not surprised about Cole having problems. I don't know about Selby. He didn't stick around long enough to decide if he could be a good pro. Withey could get picked by a team that he could really help. Then he could go to a team where he would sit and watch. If he does as a pro what he did with KU then he will have it made. I think Bilas has it right regarding Ben M. He needs to play like a pro, not sit in the corner and wait for a stationary shot. He obviously was drafted on his potential and he needs to demonstrate that it applies in the real game.

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

Mostly having fun, but really, Thomas could out Dwayne Johnson Dwayne's Luke Hobbs with a jsut a few acting lessons, and I really like Dwayne Johnson in Fast and Furious 5 and 6. :-)

Fast and Furious 5 and 6 are the first action adventure movies I've really been able to get my teeth into for a couple decades since Arnold turned the action adventure hero into a crypto-fascist icon.

Fast and Furious 5 and 6 in Justin Lin's hands are all that was good about action adventure and could be again. They've got me stoked for 7, though I'm afraid for the franchise without Lin in charge.

Allen Shepard 9 years, 4 months ago

Robinson never got regular reps and he got moved from system to system. He could easily become the best rebounder in the entire league. Did you see his rebounds per minute with the Kings?!?! He was averaging over 20 rebounds per 48.

I guess all you people know is the slash line for the season. There's a lot more to it than that.

He will be in the league for ten plus years and at some point he will be a starter. book it.

jaybate 9 years, 4 months ago

Well said, dogbert.

Cubicle Dogs rule!!!!!!

JakeBarnes 9 years, 4 months ago

I hope you are right. I don't believe you are.

I can't comment on TRob with the Kings. I never saw him play for them. I know that the trade that brought him to Houston sent Patterson to Sacramento. Patterson was an outside shooter. He averaged about 11 or 12 points a game for Houston and became a starter. His rebounding frustrated McHale. There others involved in the trade but of minor importance, except maybe the second round draft choice. If they traded for TRob to get an outside shooter it was dumber than their acquisition of Lin.

BTW Patterson seemed taller than TRob. I also know that McHale worked with Robinson to improve his inside moves and rebounding positioning. I guess it didn't work if this report is correct.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 4 months ago

With T-Rob moving around like he is, I have to wonder how this impacts Jayla. I'm can't imagine she's feeling very secure with big brother having to move to a new city every six months...

Armen Kurdian 9 years, 4 months ago

It's the grim truth that teams have no interest in developing you as a player in the NBA. Either you come ready or you're gone. I really believe that he could still be a big star in the NBA. I really, really want him to succeed. Get in the weight room T-Rob, do what you do better than anyone else. Continue being a monster on the boards.

texashawk10 9 years, 4 months ago

It's not either you come ready or you're gone. It's up to the player to work on his own game without anybody telling him to do so. That's the difference between the players who flame out of the league in 3-4 years and those who hang around for 10 years. T-Rob's future NBA success depends on T-Rob and how hard he is willing to work to improve his game during his offseasons. If he puts in the work and makes himself better, he will have a home on an NBA roster for the next decade and if he doesn't put in the necessary work, he will be out of the league and playing in Europe 5 years from now.

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