As a junior, Thomas Robinson grew from a high-volume, higher-energy reserve into arguably the nation’s most productive and competitive front court player. There is a reason that he was the first consensus first-team AP All-American since Blake Griffin. Anthony Davis can’t even make that claim.
As good as Robinson was, his potential as an NBA player is not without concern.
Robinson is a physical specimen. He’s as big and as strong as any power forward in the NBA, with a frame that makes him look like a natural fit for the WWE. He’s an explosive athlete and as good on the glass as anyone in this draft class. Robinson has a nose for the ball and goes after the rebound like a junkyard dog chasing a raw strip steak. The problem is that his skills are not as refined as his athleticism. His post game is mechanical, he’s yet to develop a feel for help-side defense collapsing on him and his ability to shoot from the mid-range is a major question mark.
But if there is anything that we’ve learned about the NBA Draft over the years, it’s that rebounding is a skill that translates well from college to the NBA. Kenneth Faried, DeJuan Blair, Paul Millsap. All successful NBA players, all guys whose best skill in college was cleaning the glass.
There are reasons to be skeptical about Robinson’s upside and whether or not it’s worthy of a top three or four pick, a spot where teams are usually looking to land a franchise player. But Robinson’s worst-case scenario is a bright-spot. Even if he turns out to be a “bust”, whoever drafts him will be getting a guy that measured out at 6-foot-10 in shoes at the LeBron Skills Academy over the summer that is big, strong, athletic, attacks the glass and is as competitive as anyone in the NBA.
Robinson made the right decision to enter the draft.
What about the rest of this year’s potential prospects? Who made the right decision? Who mad the wrong decision? Who had to leave to due circumstances beyond their control?
Over the course of the day, we’ll be breaking down some of this year’s early entrants. Do join us. You can read through all of the posts here.