Rockets looking to make run at Dwight Howard

So you’ve heard this rap a million times, by now. Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s big plan has always been to build a championship team without ever dropping into the muddy sea floor of the NBA.

That has meant acquiring assets he could flip for a star player. He did it last summer to get James Harden, and if Yahoo! is correct, Morey is trying to trade Thomas Robinson to the highest bidder in order to clear cap space to sign Dwight Howard.

Robinson was the No. 5 pick in the 2012 draft. He played three seasons at Kansas and entered the draft as kind of a running, jumping, dunking power forward whose offensive skillset would require refining.

The Sacramento Kings drafted him, but traded him to Houston at the trade deadline in a multi-team deal. The Rockets briefly worked Robinson into the rotation, but by the time the playoffs began he spent all his time in his warmups. He averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 70 games this season.

So his value has been on a steady decline since last June, but he’s still basically just a rookie.

Fortunately for the Rockets, their biggest concern isn’t getting a good deal for Robinson, it’s getting his $3.52 million salary off the books, according to Yahoo!.

Free agency begins July 1, and the Rockets, Dallas Mavericks and Golden State Warriors are believed to be the three teams most likely to sign Howard, who played for the Los Angeles Lakers last season.