Sunday, June 30, 2013

Report: T-Rob t-raded

Deal with Blazers frees up cap space for Rockets

Houston Rockets power forward Thomas Robinson (41) pumps his fist after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 22, 2013, in Houston.

Houston Rockets power forward Thomas Robinson (41) pumps his fist after scoring against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, March 22, 2013, in Houston.


Former Kansas University All-America power forward Thomas Robinson will be playing for his third NBA team during the 2013-14 season.

The Houston Rockets, who acquired Robinson from the Sacramento Kings via trade during Robinson’s rookie campaign, have agreed to ship the 6-foot-10 forward to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for two second-round draft picks and the rights to Kostas Papanikolau and Marko Todorovic, it was reported by Yahoo Sports and several other media outlets Sunday.

The Rockets now have the salary-cap space available to sign Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard, who is a free agent. USA Today reports that the Rockets will offer Howard a four-year, $88 million contract.

The Robinson deal, which will slice nearly $7 million off the Rockets’ payroll over the next two seasons, won’t become official until the NBA’s moratorium on free-agency signings ends July 10. Houston also waived Carlos Delfino and Aaron Brooks on Sunday.

Robinson — he will make $3.5 million next season — averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds in 70 games as a backup in 2012-13. He joins former KU center Jeff Withey in Portland. Seven-footer Withey was a second-round pick of Portland in Thursday’s NBA Draft.

The Oregonian’s Joe Freeman writes that, “The Blazers were more than willing to facilitate the cap-saving move for Houston because they are in desperate need for frontcourt help. All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge is the only proven power forward on the roster. With his addition, the Blazers have three of the top 11 picks in the 2012 NBA draft: Robinson, point guard Damian Lillard (No. 6) and center Meyers Leonard (11).”

Freeman on Sunday wrote that the “Blazers were ecstatic about landing Kansas 7-footer Jeff Withey in the second round of the draft. One team source labeled Withey a ‘steal,’ revealing that the Blazers already have turned down two trade offers since draft night for the agile, shot-blocking specialist who is coveted by NBA analytics gurus.”


Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

You must not have been around when Danny Manning played, because if you were I don't see how you could say TRob was your favorite. Danny simply left us slack jawed night in and night out for four years. You're entitled to your opinion of course, I just don't understand it.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 5 months ago

Best ever would be a great topic although I think Manning would win by a large margin.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 5 months ago

Since when did you decide the criteria for someone other than yourself to choose their favorite player.

I'm sure he feels much better since being allowed to have his own opinion. With all that happened during Robinson's career, I'm pretty certain that he is not the only one who feels that way.

VaJay 9 years, 5 months ago

Didn't think I'd ever say this, but... cut ahperse some slack wissox. If you include overcoming adversity into the equation, how can anyone not put TRob at or near the top of their favorite jayhawk list?

ahpersecoachingexperience 9 years, 5 months ago

Adversity, trying to tear the rim off on every dunk, and the block against Mizzou = favorite!

Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

Everyone's right ahperse, I probably came across as critical, just should have kept my mouth shut!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 5 months ago

Wish I had read this before making my comment above. I should have kept my mouth shut!

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 5 months ago

Is anyone else having troubles posting today?

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 5 months ago

Great choice...the same as I would have chosen. I don't think I ever saw him make a lazy pass or play nonchalantly.

He might not have had the skills as other players had but he knew how to exploit the talent he had.. He always knew where the ball was and always seemed to get to the ball faster than others.

Jesse Johnson 9 years, 5 months ago

Sounds like a situation where both he and withey can get some pt.

JakeBarnes 9 years, 5 months ago

This is a good deal for Robinson. He may get the PT he needs and he needs to do a good job rebounding for them. Withey ought to get some PT too as a defensive specialist for a team that needs it. Good Luck, Hawks!!!

jgkojak 9 years, 5 months ago

They should have instant chemistry - Withey played opposite Robinson for a whole Nat Championship game season - there should be some familiarity there - I guess I'll have to catch a few Portland games next season

Shawn Darius 9 years, 5 months ago

Portland loves their Blazers like OKC loves their Thunder. Great town and great fans = great situation for T-Rob.

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 5 months ago

I hope they plan on giving TRob some serious minutes. I think the reunion with Jeff will be good for all involved

Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

Taking off my Jayhawk colored glasses for a minute. Why do you think a reunion of TRob and Jeff will be good for all involved?

Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

The original poster didn't say anything about how having them both on the same team would be good for the team. Since you brought it up the Morris twins have more pro potential I think so sure it'd be great to have them on the same team. And no, I didn't miss the 2011-2012 season, see my picture, I'm at the National Championship game!

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

Why do the twins have more pro potential? Because they can hit 3's?

They're also MORE undersized to try to fit into a "PF" slot.

T.Rob's borderline in the regard.

Withey has the height to be a C - just too light (even bulked up)....but should still suffice as a shot-blocker, Chris Andersen come off the bench and provide a spark type.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

Well I'm no basketball expert, and I hope all of them form a nucleus for championship teams. It's just a gut feeling from watching these guys all these years. I don't think Withey or TRob have enough of an offensive game to become significant forces in this league. Now that doesn't mean they can't find a niche, kind of like Nick Collison. The Morris' more developed offensive game led me to write what I wrote, but please, don't take any stock in it, it's just an opinion of an old basketball fan.

DCLawHawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Others on here are better equipped to answer this question, but here's my two cents: 1) Instant chemistry is quite valuable. T-Rob and Jeff know each other's tendencies and how to play off of each other to maximize their success. It can take awhile to build that kind of chemistry (and floor time in NBA regular season games is a hard place to do it), but the Blazers are getting it on the cheap by bringing on board two guys who already have it. 2) In addition to chemistry, each of these guys covers the other's worst flaw. T-Rob is much better at rebounding than defending, so having Jeff in there as a defensive stopper helps cover for T-Rob. At the same time, Jeff is not as good an offensive finisher, so having T-Rob in there to clean up and get interior feeds from Jeff will be valuable to him as well. Count me as another Jayhawk fan who will try to catch a couple of Blazers games next season now--maybe even a Blazers/Suns game. That could be fun.

Craig Carr 9 years, 5 months ago

Wish TRob well, only Coach Self could have made a very limited player a top 5 pick. Hope he has been very smart and invested wisely.

Greg Lux 9 years, 5 months ago

Actually I think Coach Manning deserves most of the credit ... mho

Rock Chalk

Alex Peekeaton 9 years, 5 months ago

You do realize TRob was ranked ~40th in the 2009 class...hardly limited

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

It's also not the neighborhood most top 5 picks are in coming out of high school either though.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

TRob and Jeff?

May as well trade for tyshawn and sign Trav and EJ and reunite the team with the most heart I ever saw.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago


It may not seem like it now, but you are living a charmed life to get out of that humidity!

Robert Brown 9 years, 5 months ago

What's that supposed to mean? You don't think it's not humid in Portland.

texashawk10 9 years, 5 months ago

Even if Portland does have humidity, it doesn't get up to 105 with humidity like it was on Saturday here.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 5 months ago

That's a great line! Did you know that Atlanta has more rainfall annually then Portland?

Ted Hume 9 years, 5 months ago

The gulf coast humidity in the Houston area combined the horrendous oil refinery atmospheric output and auto emissions from the city's doubling in population in the suburbs and exurbs in just a few decades make Houston's air quality among the absolute worst in the country- worse than LA's by many accounts, or Denver's by-comparison mild "inversion dome" effect smog problems. It's like Beijing for much of the year with the city shrouded in an insane mix of water-vapor haze and industrial/automotive smog. Yea, I'd say it is a polar opposite of Portland. Sorry HouTex- I feel for you, and I'm not trying to completely dis your city, but Houston's humidity- and overall air quality problems are a mess

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 5 months ago

Actually in the summer it gets pretty dry. Grass is brown unless watered. Only wet the other 9 months, ha! But at least when it is wet it is cool. If you can handle the gray of winter the temperatures are pretty nice. Take your vitamin D and get a full-spectrum lamp to prevent suicidal mood swings, which usually only lasts until election time.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago


If you think anyplace outside of maybe Zaire is more humid than Houston, you've got to travel a bit more. Portland's humidity is like a winter blizzard compared to Houston in summer. But, of course, you were joking and no one got it, right?

Houston is the only place in North America, outside of maybe Disneyworld, or some bayou in Louisiana, I have ever been that I needed a machete just to walk through the air.

Houston is so humid flame throwers won't light.

Houston is so humid mosquitoes perspire.

Houston is so humid the dengue fever refuses to spread there.

Houston is so humid candles form rain clouds.

Houston is so humid that people sleep under goretex sheets.

Houston is so humid that people perspire thinking about going there.

Houston is so humid that fish can breath out of water there.

Houston is so humid Houstonians have rain gutters mounted on their eye brows.

Houston is so humid that dehumidifiers provide the city's potable water supply.

And so on.


Jeremy Wilhelm 9 years, 5 months ago

Never lived in Houston, but a Georgia summer is pretty damn brutal... Especially in the urban heat island that is Atlanta.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 5 months ago

Is that why the Rockets fizzle when the heats on?

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

That sounds like the voice of experience. I spent 9 years in Houston and loved every minute of it - while I was indoors. Away from the rain forest humidity and the world's worst traffic.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 5 months ago

NU..don't forget the mosquitos the size of F-14's with twice the fire power!!

Chris1955 9 years, 5 months ago

Let's not forget the size of the bugs in east Texas. You havent begun to know what size wood roaches can get. They are easily two inches in length. Thank goodness they don't like to live in or reproduce in homes!

captku 9 years, 5 months ago

I agree with nu - I spent 15+ there and one of the best things about H-town? The A/C. But, yes, the bugs are also "texas-sized", and if you've seen the roaches, you know what I mean - big enough to ride. Plus, two words: fire ants. What is that all about. C'mon, man. I did dig it there, but was also glad to break back into the midwest.

Ron Prichard 9 years, 5 months ago

Growing up we used to spend our summers near Anahuac, TX outside of Houston. I remember every night around 5:30 the truck would come around spraying chemicals into the air (DDT I think, which has since been banned) to try to control/kill the mosquitoes. You were supposed to stay inside for 20-30 minutes and then you could go back out. I'm sure I didn't suffer any permanent brain damage due to that! :-)

Oh, and the humidity was the worst. Still, as kids we had a blast.

Lance Hobson 9 years, 5 months ago

C'mon Jaybate, Zaire has been the Democratic Republic of the Congo for like 15 years. And India is more humid. I expected more from you.

REHawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Thomas averaged 4.8/4.5 in how many minutes?

Robin Smith 9 years, 5 months ago

15 min/game

I crunched some numbers not too long ago. Since he played for two teams, both with logjams, and usually in spotty backup minutes we should take his stats with a grain of salt (or two)

There were about 20 games in which Robinson got about 20 minutes or more and in those games he averaged about 9 and 6 with a handful of double-doubles. In that light he compares favorably to Kenneth Faried, starting PF for Denver, in his rookie season, where he avg'd 22 min for the whole season and started most of the time. Long story short, TRob looks like a starting-caliber power forward despite his rookie season stats.

KansasComet 9 years, 5 months ago

Thomas Robinson did posterize Howard last preseason...

KemDooKU 9 years, 5 months ago

How sweat to play basketball and get paid millions to do it - There is so much enjoyment playing basketball and to think these guys get a Brinks truck to do it -

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

"D1 to Pro: Get Ready Not to Do as Almost Everything!"

Part 1

Its hard not to notice that except for Mario Chalmers getting some rings as a sixth man, Bill Self's players aren't lighting up the NBA.

Bill wins around 30 games, a title and gets in the Madness each season.

One to three of Bill's players get drafted.

Some play 15-20 mpg like the Morri.

Some like Julian Wright lack a major skill, like Julian Wright who can't shoot, and circle the periphery.

Some like Cole Aldrich, turn out to be too small to do what they did in D1.

Some like Brandon and Xavier have injuries and barely hang on.

Some like Tyshawn have no injuries and barely hang on.

Some like Josh Selby hang on briefly, or like Sherron not at all, despite promising performances in try outs, or D-Leagues.

Some hang on in the D-League, like Brady.

And some like Wayne Simien hang around but then answer a higher calling.

This post is no knock on Self, or these fine, former KU Jayhawks. I suspect other blue blood programs have a similar distribution of success stories, journeymen, hangers on and washouts. The NBA is a big step up. Everyone with higher order brain function should get this.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 5 months ago

I think you should also consider the possibility that Self adjusts his team and plan to his players strengths, and that doesn't happen for them at the NBA level. Perhaps they appear to be better than they are thanks to Coach Self.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

I would argue that Chalmers IS their starting PG (not 6th man). Heck, he seems to REALLY step up his play in the Finals and could be argued was the 3rd most effective scorer for them in both of the last two FInals.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

And you would be right, as I was wrong about Rio being a backup.

KGphoto 9 years, 5 months ago

"I’m assuming this is a Bill-Self-Era list?" - Paul Pierce

Tony Bushard 9 years, 5 months ago

Great points, Jaybate, as well as what follows in the subsequent parts. I just wanted to add another exception ("except for Mario Chalmers ... lighting it up") that proves your "rule": Deron Williams was a Bill Self player too.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

A good face saving way to put it for me. Thx. :-)

Andrew Horigan 9 years, 5 months ago

I'd like to point out that a lot of KU fans claim Rush has been a bit of a bust which isn't true at all. He's certainly not "barely hanging on." All the golden state fans I talked to were super bummed to see him go down last year and are hoping he'll be a great spark off the bench next year. He's also averaged about 40 percent 3 pointers in the league. Watch out next year with him backing up Harrison Barnes. That team is young and has a lot of potential.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

Um...isn't Rush a Free Agent now? I could see him leave Golden State in the hopes to get more playing time. People have said that OKC's not bringing Martin back and won't be long for being able to keep Sefalosha around....maybe he could come fairly close to home and go to OKC?

Andrew Horigan 9 years, 5 months ago

He exercised his player option, I think he has at least one more year with them now.

Kevin Huffman 9 years, 5 months ago

Luckily, I think he can play the "2" OR the "3" so be able to fill in for EITHER Barnes or K. Thompson. Still not a bad fit for him. Who knows if he can fully stay healthy maybe he can challenge for those 6th man awards.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

I agree and I meant to say not that he was a bust, but that he had not lived up to our high expectations for him. Good add. His numbers, when not hurt, back you up.

Michael Bratisax 9 years, 5 months ago

'Its hard not to notice that except for Mario Chalmers getting some rings as a sixth man'

C'mon jaybate...he started 82 out of 82 regular season games and 23 out of 23 post season games.

The Heat have already decided to exercise their team option to keep starting point guard Mario Chalmers for the 2013-14 season.

I think that qualifies him as a starter on the best team in basketball

Andy Tweedy 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm happy for both of these guys, but I'm so sick of hearing about how everybody that every team drafts in the second round is a "steal." I simply can't imagine that both these guys can't play in the NBA for a long time though, they both clearly have a good work ethic, or we wouldn't have seen the kinds of improvements we did at KU.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

Part 2

I just thought it would be interesting to go down the list and compare the senior season MPG, FG%, FT%, 3PT% and RPG of these players's last season at KU with their season of most games played in the NBA. KU stats are before the / and NBA stats are after the /. No D-League stats are counted. Just the show.

Player, MPG, FG%, FT%, 3PT%, RPG/MPG, FG%, FT%, 3PT%, RPG

Wayne 34,55%, 81%, 29%, 11/9.6, 48%, 88%, 0%, 2

Julian 28, 55%, 61%, 23%, 7.8/13, 50%, 61%, 33%, 2.1

Brandon 30, 43%, 78%, 42%, 5.1/30, 42%, 63%, 37%, 3.1

Mario 30, 52%, 75%, 47%, 3.1/32, 42%, 77%, 37%, 2.8

Darrel 25, 54%, 70%, 17%, 6.3/20, 50%, 81%, 0%, 4.3

Cole 27, 56%, 68%, 0%, 9.8/7.1, 53%, .44, 0%, 1.9

Xavier 27, 46%, 78%, 42%, 4.4/12, 41%, 63%, 36%, 3.9

Mook 28, 57%, 69%, 34%, 7.6/21, 43%, 65%, 38%, 4.1

Kieff 24, 59%, 67%, 42%, 8.3/21, 72%, 35%, 73%, 4.8

Josh 20, 37%, 76%, 36%, 2.2/8, 35%, 79%, 13%, .5

TRob 32, 51%, 68%, 50%, 12/16, 42%, 58%, 00%, 4.7

Ty 33, 48%,69%, 38%, 2.3/5.8, 37%, 56%, 46%, .5

For die hard quantoids, I did not break things out per minute played, because I was more interested in gross percentages.

And I probably left someone out that should have been included.

And the flipping stats are a pain to look at because I was too lazy to create a good template.

And I'm not addressing who was in front of each of these players.

Still, here is a little qualitative analysis of a little quantitative food for thought about the stochastic challenges of becoming a professional basketball player.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

Part 3

What jumped out first in the research, but doesn't show in presenting only single seasons above, was that despite Mario's sixth man heroics and two rings for Miami, Brandon Rush, despite a cruel run of injuries and some personal funks, has had probably a more substantial professional basketball career in terms of games played and started. Brandon actually has played and started a lot of games. Mario was forced into starting a lot of games his first season, because of an injury to a teammate, but since then, Mario has been a rotation backup. But this was incidental to what I was trying to understand, which was: what happened to these guys in the NBA? Why didn't they do better? even in Brandon's and Mario's cases?

Well, it seems to break out this way. To do well in the NBA, you have to:

1) be able to keep doing well what you were best at in D1, plus not have any big holes in your game show up;

2) avoid injuries;

3) not lose your confidence.

This may seem like obvious-mastering and I suppose it is.

If you were a great gun that could defend in D1, you have to be able to keep doing it in the pros, or you are toast. Brandon, when his head is on and he is uninjured, can do in the pros what he did in D1 close, but not quite as well, so he is toast. Point blank, Tyshawn can't get to the rim at will in the pros and he can't shoot as well from trey either because its a longer trey and guys worry less about his penetration speed.

Michael Luby 9 years, 5 months ago

Jaybate, Mario was starting all the way through the finals this season. Did pretty well considering his co.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago


I said Mario was one of the exceptions, though notice how far his trey percentages have fallen. He has steadily been climbing to a career high of 41% this season, but overall he is shooting 37% and in any case has not approached his 47% his last season at KU.

But OMG, I was trapped in a time warp and mispoke about Mario. I was caught in the 09 season and 10 season, when he started 22 of 73 and 28 of 70 and the 10 and 11 playoffs, when he started 0 of 5 and 1 in 21. My bad. Sorry, sorry, sorry, Mario. My RECOVERY is apparently still a work in progress. :-)

Go ahead and keel haul me!!! :-)

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

Part 4

If you were a dominant stud in the paint in D1, you have to be able to keep doing it in the pros, or you are toast. Wayne and Cole could dominate the paint in D1, but they couldn't in the pros, and so they were toast, regardless of how much skill they had, and Wayne especially had a lot of skill, to go along with his brawn. But dominating the paint at 6-9 and 260 in D1 , where you are usually the biggest, is not the same as dominating the paint in the pros, where Wayne was average sized and often giving up 3-5 inches. His back to the basket game never translated to guys bigger than him. Coles mad stork game never translated when the guys were 3-5 inches taller and stronger.

Julian exemplifies what happens when you can't dominate in the paint, you can't beast in open floor, and you can't shoot squat from trey in the L. You hang on while they have to pay you, then you go to Europe. Everyone knew Julian couldn't shoot the rock, but what is most amazing is how his ability to rebound withered in the L.

Darrell Arthur exemplifies what happens when you can do almost everything you did in D1 in the pros but a weakness central to your position shows up in the pros. Darrell was never a monster rebounder in D1. Decent, but not consistently exceptional. When he got to the pros, that average rebounding turned into numbers not much better than a perimeter player in the pros. Darrell is also playing with bigs that can step out and make treys and Darrell cannot do that. So he has to sit for any big that can stretch it.

jaybate 9 years, 5 months ago

Part 5

The Morri show what happens when you can do pretty much everything you could do in D1 in the pros, only about 2/3s as well. You get to play 20 mpg in a rotation, often as a back up.

The most counter intuitive phenomenon I found in the numbers was a decline in free throw shooting from D1 to pros. The FT line is the same in both games. No one has a hand in your face at the free throw line at either level. I expected little fall off in FT shooting. WRONG! Apparently the L is a psychologically disorienting place for players and their concentration at the line suffers. The transition from stars to average or less players is hard on confidence. Maybe the absense of college coaches hounding them to practice their free throws is also a factor. Whatever, a significant number shoot free throws significantly worse in the pros than in college. So: if they started out a borderline acceptable free throw shooter in D1, they may well fall below that threshold because of the stresses of life as a professional.

So: as with most things in life, causes of failure and underperformance emerge from a tangle of drivers that often interrelate and exacerbate other problems to the point that the player just is not a credible option for a starting player in the NBA.

P.S.: Two other underlying factors make it tough to go from D1 to Pro. First, players add a business life they never had to deal with in the past, if they have any brain function at all and so maintain a significant level of interest in their investments. Second, most begin to get in family ways and families, as even we mortals know, suck a significant portion of the life and concentration out of any adult. Yes, we focus harder, because we have innocents depending on us, but the innocents invariably make us have to divide our focus. And as any married parent heading a household knows, there is a helluva difference between having kids out of wedlock that you see at Christmas break, while an unwed mother raises them for you, versus being the head of a household with a home, fleet of cars, inlaws on drugs, grand parents in dementia, schools demanding your kid quit hacking the school network, and so on. Battling a college professor for an A with the aide of a tutor is kid stuff compared to trying to keep agents and lawyers from milking you to death. Battling a co-ed girl friend that breaks your heart on the Hill is kid stuff compared to marriage to a gold digger that hires vicious lawyers to use the threat of taking your kids in order to bargain for more than half of everything you have.

The NBA: its the cold cruel world, even with the big bones.

63Jayhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Not sure why you refer to Mario as a sixth man. He has started 77 of 77 games this past season. Mario had the first or second most minutes on the team in some of the playoff games. The "other" point guard didn't even make it into the game during game 7.

BigBlue4KU 9 years, 5 months ago

I am a South Florida resident and I assure you, from the day he arrived in Miami he was the starting point guard. There was no starting his first year because of injury. Mario was the starter and has been. Back to the statistical woodshed, Mr. Jaybate. In his secon and third years the heat had a form of PG by committee but it was primarily to help tutor Mario. He was their guy. The last two championship years 187 games played, including playoff games, 187 games started by Mario. That isn't anything but a starter.

Robert Brown 9 years, 5 months ago

With the exception of Paul Pierce, no all-star caliber players from KU in the Williams-Self era. However, you may be surprised at how many KU players had long careers, 10 yrs+. Vaughn, LaFrentz, Pierce, Ostertag, Pollard, Heinrich, Collison. Drawing an NBA salary for 10 yrs is pretty good.

All the players who left after the 2008 season have now been on rosters for five years- Chalmer, Arthur, Rush, Jackson?.

mikehawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Has anyone done a study on OAD players, their length of time in the league, stats, etc. as compared to players who stayed in college at least 2 years? Somebody must have studied those numbers. I would assume the NBA does. Are there trends, lessons to be learned, for either the teams or the college kids? Not that I think it would really change anything, because teams can't afford to lay off of a player they can get this year based on "potential," and players can't turn down millions and face the real possibility of serious injury.

Bryce Landon 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm happy that T-Rob and Jeff will be able to reunite in Portland. However, isn't it cause for concern that the #5 overall pick is now on his third team in less than two years? The folks at CBS Sports Radio seemed to think so...

justinryman 9 years, 5 months ago

It's because the Kings took him cause they took the best player available and not for a need on the team. They already had 3 or 4 other PF.

Houston is only trading him becasue they want to sign Howard.

If Robinson gets some steady pt and on a team that utilizes him as a PF and not a face up guy then he will do well for them and be a very solid player.

Radio talking heads will take a mole hill and find some dillusional rational to make it a Mountain. It's what they do especially in the summer when they are trying to find a way to keep listeners.

Robert Brown 9 years, 5 months ago

He certainly did not make an impression in Houston. One could argue the competition was stiff with many players in the same position, but none of those players were all-stars.

Drafting is more an art than science. Look at previous #5 picks and you see some stars and some disappointments.

Number 5

Year Player School/Country – Team 2013 Alex Len, Maryland – Phoenix Suns 2012 Thomas Robinson, Kansas – Sacramento Kings 2011 Jonas Valanciunas, Lithuania – Toronto Raptors 2010 Demarcus Cousins, Kentucky – Sacramento Kings 2009 Ricky Rubio, Spain – Minnesota Timberwolves 2008 Kevin Love, UCLA – Memphis Grizzlies (Draft rights traded to Minnesota Timberwolves) 2007 Jeff Green, Georgetown – Boston Celtics (Draft rights traded to Seattle Supersonics) 2006 Shelden Williams, Duke – Atlanta Hawks 2005 Raymond Felton, North Carolina – Charlotte Bobcats 2004 Devin Harris, Wisconsin – Washington Wizards (Draft rights traded to Dallas Mavericks) 2003 Dwyane Wade, Marquette – Miami HEAT 2002 Nikoloz Tskitishvili, Italy – Denver Nuggets 2001 Jason Richardson, Michigan State – Golden State Warriors 2000 Mike Miller, Florida – Orlando Magic

Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

You're all making excuses for why it's not a concern, but I would say it's a major concern that he's already on his third team. He should consult Drew Gooden on handling a new team or several new teams per season.

Sam Constance 9 years, 5 months ago

Not a concern. Sacramento was, until recently, a complete trainwreck. Their personnel moves should not be taken as any kind of a larger sign.

He wasn't really given much of a chance in Houston. At least that's what I take away from a player who is listed as the second string PF on the depth chart only playing 13 minutes a game and registering several DNPs. Hard to make much of an impact when your minutes and playing time are getting yanked around like that. The fact that they traded him so quickly suggests that they saw him as an asset that was more valuable on the market than as a backup for Chandler Parsons.

It's a little reactionary to read so much into a player's movement in the first couple years. Circumstances and fit will dictate that as much as anything. He can't help being drafted by a team that didn't need him then being traded to a team that also didn't really need him. I think the clock starts now on him reaching his potential, since he should now be in a situations where he's positioned to succeed.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 5 months ago

Excited to watch a Portland v. Phoenix game next year. We could potentiall see an all-KU front court matchup.

Ill put my money on the Morrii over T-Rob + Withey

VaJay 9 years, 5 months ago

You best bet sooner than later, because T-Rob + Withey + time could be > than M2.

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 5 months ago

Sweeeeeet! Now I have two reasons to finally go to Blazer games.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 5 months ago

All these theories, stats, & thoughts make it obvious that there really is a lack of chemistry on teams at the next level when it becomes a job. At least not at the degree in D-1. After work, all these highly paid workers go their own ways, with their own friends, and in many cases, their families. Many vets don't just go home & chill out & play video games with whomever... Trust me, traveling all the time is a grind, no matter how you do it. If Thomas & Jeff can stick together both should develop significantly. Look at the twins. If more GM's could get (afford) that pic, we'd surely see more of it. Any great champ team in any sport most often refers to "chemistry" as a huge factor in success, and as today's pro athletes are compensated so highly, it becomes harder & harder to have them all experience the same level of social involvement when not in the gym, on the road, or in the clubhouse, which endears itself to caring about each other and forming bonds & friendships. So after all that schpiel, which is more accurate? Does society create economics, or does economics create society? That oughta stir up the pot rather well-an old econ professor laid that on us 40 years ago and we still can't figure it out or agree..

Randy Bombardier 9 years, 5 months ago

Reading many of the comments above and I know this is not true of T-Rob exactly but IMO player development at the collegiate level is in caps whereas in the NBA it is all lower-case. In other words why go to the show if you still have a lot of undeveloped potential. Sure, you may get drafted but what happens if you get injured or you get buried in the roster, traded from team to team and then after 6 years you're just a memory? Maybe T-Rob is an example after all. If he doesn't stay til he is a senior he doesn't make the NBA, period.

I think Xavier may end up being a case in point. One and done is a big mistake. I hope Ben just explodes in the NBA but if he doesn't and fades away I think it could be said that he could have used another year or two at this level. Good reason I think with the caliber of recruits we are getting now to play the toughest schedule we possibly can and even schedule teams with great matchups with our key guys to help their development along. For instance last year I thought that young Michigan big got the best of Withey at the most inopportune time.

Woody Cragg 9 years, 5 months ago

The NBA may be the dream for many, but most others it's just a means to an end-money. Europe can pay awfully well also. Keith has made several million there, & at one time was, I believe, the highest paid player at or over about 2 mill a year. The work ethic & effort really separates the men from the boys in professional BB. But if they invest wisely the first couple of years on a lottery contract, they can be set for life & not broke in a few short years. Driving & recking Maseratis won't sustain that scenario for long. JMO.

Shawn Darius 9 years, 5 months ago

Reuniting Withey and T-Rob in Portland! Love it! RCJK

mikehawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Why is it no one seems to ever talk about Jeff's nice touch and, I think, potential to build off of his touch to develop a really effective outside shot. Rim protection, absolutely, particularly from the week side. But his real value is developing a spot up short jumper or three point shot on the offensive end. The problem will be when he gets matched up with a bigger, stronger player who can post him up down low. He doesn't, at least not yet, have the strength to hold the really strong players off. But, in the NBA, it is about match ups everywhere. It could break either way, but I think Jeff has a chance to have a long and lucrative NBA career as a backup shot blocker, spot up shooter who is a legitimate "footer."

David Dohrmann 9 years, 5 months ago

Living in Portland, we feel like we just won the JHawk lottery this week. Getting Withey was amazing, and T-Rob icing on the cake. The great thing is that Portland will be good for these two as well. Blazers ranked 24th in rebounding last year, have no established center, and lacked a strong back-up power forward for LaMarcus Aldridge. Gives T-Rob a great opportunity to learn the position, something that he never got last year. He should get a lot of minutes, both he and Withey will get excellent coaching (Terry Stotts is great!), and the core members of the team are good guys, unselfish on the court. Of course, the other advantages of coming to Portland include ... no mosquitos, humidity, tornadoes, etc., and we're just getting started.

After a game against the Kings last December T-Rob met with a group of KU fans that attended on a Blazers promotion, and one couldn't wish for a better ambassador of KU basketball. He answered some questions and talked a bit, and when a Kings guy signaled it was time to leave, he stayed to meet and shake hands with each one of us, which he didn't have to do. In addition to a "good motor," the guy also has a big heart.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.