I’m different than most GM’s in the NBA. Well, the number one difference is I’m not an NBA GM, but I should say “if” I was an NBA GM I would be different in the way that I rate a top 10 pick. The world is so big that if I’m drafting you as one of the top 10 players in the world, I expect results from you within the first month of your career. I completely understand you’re going to make mistakes while you learn. I accept I might only get a few minutes out of you per game in the beginning. However, why draft a project that’s so behind they can’t crack a top 9 spot in the rotation with a top 10 pick? If they need that much work and you still like the player, trade down. A top 10 draft pick that doesn’t play early in their career is not a good value pick.
I love UCONN’s Stanley Robinson as a Sun, but my feelings towards him are completely based on one word: value.
You can find mock drafts that have Robinson as a top 10 pick. I think that’s too high. My desire to see Robinson as a Sun doesn’t start until the lottery picks end. Robinson is going to have a long career in the NBA because he’s athletic enough to get by and contribute early, yet has a passion for the game to improve what he brings to the table for longevity sake.
Robinson is a “tweener.” The famous word is usually a derogatory description. I see so much growth in Robinson’s future, I say that as a compliment. He’s amazingly athletic with a great knack for rebounds. He’s not a monster on the boards like Cousins, who will rip your head off for a rebound. Robinson is more sly. His athleticism and understanding of rebound angles puts him in perfect position. His athleticism, energy and rebounding is enough to make him a contributor. I just don’t think he’s going to be ready fast enough to give me what I want with a top 10 pick.
I still say tweener as a compliment, though, because I believe he’s going to develop into a wonderful compliment player and have a long career. When I see him play with the passion he shows it tells me he loves the game, so I know he’ll work at it. When I see his athleticism I know he’s got the tools to improve. His body tells me there’s plenty of room for a good strength program. He’s got the tools to go from contributor as a young player to major piece in the starting 5 later in his career.
He will improve his jumper and extend his range to the NBA three point line. Right now he falls into the category of more athletic than your average 4. The problem is you can’t completely say his strength would dominate a 3. He’s a one-way tweener but Robinson will develop into a great niche. He simply does whatever it takes to win. His game will grow as a team asks more of him in order for his team to win.
In my praise to him, I realize I didn’t sound very complimentary. I want Robinson as a Sun- I just don’t want to build your hopes up. He does so many things good enough that I know he’ll add to any organization. I project him to develop into that guy every championship team has. I think “glue” guys are very under-valued in the NBA Draft, but that under-evaluation begins after the lottery.
The number one weakness of Stanley Robinson is only time. He’s not going to come in and blow your doors off. I think he’ll have some poor workouts and drop in the mock drafts. Don’t let it affect what you see on game film. Stanley Robinson’s number one attribute is the totality of his game. This will not come through in drills. So often a work-out highlights the individual talent but not the individual’s desire to win a game. He’ll work hard in his work-outs but he won’t stand out in 3-on-3. No one’s going to drool over his 1-on-1 moves. He’s not that great as an individual basketball player. His game will jump light years each off-season. He will improve more from June-October than he will from November-April. Take what you get from him early in his career and stick with him.
This isn’t like trying to grow a garden in the desert. It takes a while to grow a garden so be patient but Robinson is top soil and not Sonoran desert sand.
Next time you watch a UConn basketball game, watch Robinson. After the game, e-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me what you think.