Who he is: Thomas Robinson, a 6’9″, 240-lb forward, was originally drafted fifth overall in the 2012 NBA draft> He’s played for four teams (Sacramento, Houston, Portland, Philadelphia) in three seasons.
Big Stat: 7.7. In 22 games with the 76ers last season, Robinson averaged 7.7 rebounds in just 18.5 minutes per game. That’s around 15 rebounds per 36 minutes.
How the Nets got him: On July 2nd, the Nets signed Robinson to a two-year deal worth approximately $2.2 million. The Nets almost acquired the former Kansas stars’ services last year off waivers before Philadelphia swooped in at the 11th hour and snagged him.
Strengths: Rebounding, ferocious energy, inside scoring, strength and length, untapped potential.
Weaknesses: Jump shooting, free throw shooting, shot blocking, defense, untapped potential.
2014-15 recap: After averaging 3.6 points and 4.2 rebounds in just 12.2 minutes per game with Portland, Robinson was traded to Denver at the trade deadline. Robinson was not in the Nuggets’ long term plans, and he was dumped and picked up off the waiver wire by Philadelphia.
Robinson found his footing in Philly. In 22 games, the high-energy forward averaged 8.8 points and the aforementioned 7.7 rebounds in 18.5 minutes per game. He reached double-digits in rebounds seven times, including three straight games in early March highlighted by a 15-rebound, 17-minute performance against Chicago.
2015-16 outlook: On July 15th, less than two weeks after signing with the Nets, Robinson underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee. But he’s all set and ready to go for the season.
Robinson’s role should be similar to his role in Philadelphia last season as a high-energy big off the bench. The Nets’ roster was absent of seasoned, athletic big men last season, relying on the likes of Jerome Jordan, Cory Jefferson, and Mirza Teletovic to play power forward. This season, Robinson will be challenged by the likes of Willie Reed and perhaps a small-ball style Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for playing time. With rebounding a clear weakness for the Nets, Robinson should get plenty of minutes off the bench providing he’s healthy and motivated to exceed last year’s production.
What a good season for him would look like: He becomes a primary bench option providing energy and rebounding on both ends of the court. At some point in the season, Ian Eagle proclaims, “Look out NBA: Thomas Robinson has arrived!”
What a bad season for him would look like: Robinson regresses back to his inconsistent ways and ends up searching for minutes in the second half of the season. Hollis-Jefferson’s versatility prompts Hollins to use him at the power forward spot more due to Robinson’s faulty defense and lack of development in his mid-range game.