Wednesday, September 21, 2016

T-Rob goes to Hollywood: Former Jayhawk signs with Lakers

Former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, right, shakes the hand of NBA commissioner David Stern after Robinson was selected with the fifth pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday in Newark, N.J.

Former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, right, shakes the hand of NBA commissioner David Stern after Robinson was selected with the fifth pick in the NBA Draft on Thursday in Newark, N.J.


The Los Angeles Lakers and former Kansas forward Thomas Robinson on Wednesday agreed to a one-year deal, making the former KU force the final player on the Lakers roster for the 2016-17 season.

Robinson joins a full roster and even more crowded frontcourt that includes fellow former Jayhawk Tarik Black, who, in July, signed a two-year, $13 million deal to stay in Los Angeles.

Since being drafted No. 5 overall in the 2012 NBA Draft, Robinson, 25, has struggled to find a consistent home, bouncing around to now his sixth team in just four years. He played with the Brooklyn Nets a season ago and averaged 4.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 77 games.

Originally drafted by the Sacramento Kings, Robinson was traded to the Houston Rockets during his rookie season and later went on to play for the Portland Trail Blazers before being traded again to the Philadelphia 76ers and eventually winding up in Brooklyn last season.

Robinson's signing was overshadowed somewhat by the Lakers agreeing to bring back former NBA standout and side show Metta World Peace. Adding both players put the Lakers at the maximum of 20 players heading into training camp. L.A. will have to trim that roster to 15 by the end of camp, which makes Robinson's addition less than a guarantee.


Joe Ross 5 years, 11 months ago

Journeyman. Crazy too, because no one would have thought that taking a snapshot of these two players leaving Kansas, that Black would have the upper hand on Robinson in the NBA. Causes one to wonder if Robinson was not as good as advertised, if he hasnt improved much in the league, if Black was better than advertised, if he (Black) has improved greatly, or some combination of these.

Or maybe something else?

Leon Trotter 5 years, 11 months ago

Quite a few things factor in: Location/Roster/Situation TRob got stuck in Sacramento,(Never good) had a cup of coffee in Houston then got shipped to Portland. He was never going to get much run on that team. Aldridge is just better than him.Lopez was the 5. He was fine in Philly, then to Brooklyn. Thad Young isnt great, but he is good. The other Lopez was sucking up the rest of the front court minutes. (The Nets actually ran Joe Johnson at the 4 a bit last year as well)

Black didn't do much in Houston then went to the Lakers. They might have the worst front court in the league. Hibbert can protect the rim, but not much else and Julius Randle is terrible. Easier to get minutes there.

The other thing is the rise of the small ball lineups/stretch 4s. TRob is not that. He is not big enough to guard 5s for long periods and isn't a good enough shooter to space the floor in those lineups. (See Joe Johnson getting minutes at the 4)

I think it was just a perfect storm for T-Rob. The league has changed and his skills are fringe-y. (I don't really think Black has a much toehold on the NBA. He didn't really do much last year. If I had to bet, he gets cut before Robinson)

Jay Scott 5 years, 11 months ago

Black didn't do much in Houston? He started in place of injured Dwight Howard for a dozen games. In 25 games he averaged 15,7 mins, 4.2 pts and 5.1 rebs. The Lakers jumped at the chance to add him when Howard returned. His Houston stats were BETTER than the ones in LA that got him a $13 Mil contract, which is guaranteed...

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 10 months ago

I think Houston would have kept Black until they had the opportunity to sign Josh Smith for peanuts. LA knew it, and they needed a player who was essentially free help.

Leon Trotter 5 years, 10 months ago

Correct, 4 Pts and 5 boards over a 25 game stretch isn't much. Especially for someone that started half of those games.

That 13 million isn't guaranteed. Only 16/17 is.

Also, his Houston #s were not better that what he put up in LA. They came down last year, but 14/15 he averaged 7.2 pts and 6.3 rebs. Played more, better FG%, better FT% more blocks..

Those #s came down last year, but overall his LA stats are still better.

Jay Scott 5 years, 10 months ago

Leon, knock yourself out.

His points and rebounds per minute were higher in Houston. The others were mixed. Those per minute totals are solid. They compare well with backups at the center/PF spot.

It's all guaranteed.

Leon Trotter 5 years, 10 months ago

Per 36 minutes he was close to 2 pts a game better in LA. (11.3 vs 9.6) His rebounds per 36 were .6 better in Houston. (11.6 vs 11) In LA he had more blocks, assists, steals, fewer turnovers, higher FG%. I am not sure how you can make the case that his Houston stats were better.

Also, the link you provided for his contract clearly states that 2017 is NOT guaranteed. Here is what it says in the "Contract Notes" section. This is a direct quote from that page

"2017 non-guaranteed"

You can also find that info on his Basketball Reference page. Scroll to the bottom of the above link. "2017-18 is not guaranteed"

Jonathan Allison 5 years, 10 months ago

I agree with Leon about TRob. Black is big enough/strong enough to play the 5. TRob is just an energy guy who can't shoot. He shot it much better in college. Something mental has prevented him from improving his shooting in the NBA.

Joe Joseph 5 years, 10 months ago

You nailed it with T-Rob's inability to stretch the floor.

Still, I'm surprised he hasn't developed into a guy that averages 18-20 mpg just due to his ability to rebound and make hustle plays. He's shown flashes, but typically at the end of seasons when teams are letting the end-of-the-benchers get PT.

Joe Wolf 5 years, 10 months ago

After the All-Star break, his rookie season in 14-15, Tarik Black averaged 8.2 ppg and 6.9 rpg while shooting 58% from the field. Who had a better college career aside, Black has been a more consistent pro, and has stepped up when given the opportunity. His efficiency is what puts him ahead of Robinson too. Black has consistently shot over 50% from the field for his entire career, a real key in earning minutes as a grinder is not taking bad shots.

Joe Wolf 5 years, 10 months ago

T-Rob's biggest downfall as a player early into his career, was trying too hard to showcase his perimeter game, that was really anchored by a quick first step, but without the range to keep defenders honest. It took him until his 3rd season to shoot over 45% as a power forward, which is well below what's needed for an NBA reserve.

His rebounding is legitimately well above average for an NBA player of any position, for players that played more than 30 games, Robinson ranked 4th in the NBA in total rebounds per 36 minutes (14.1) and 2nd in offensive rebounds per 36 minutes (5.3) behind only the beastly Andre Drummond.

I think at this point in his career, he's realized he needs to be a grinder. I think what he really needs is a spot where he can spend 2 or 3 seasons as a everyday reserve (even if it's just 15-20 mpg) to prove to teams he isn't just a good year rental for a 10th-12th man.

Michael Bennett 5 years, 10 months ago

I think T-Rob is just right in that in-between spot where he was strong and athletic enough to be a beast as an upperclassman in college but is just an underskilled energy guy (inconsistenly) in the NBA. And he just doesn't quite have the grind attitude night in night out that gives Kenneth Faried his paychecks.

Jay Scott 5 years, 10 months ago

Tarik Black graduated in three years and has nearly completed his masters. Black is a very bright and focused young man.

Is that where the difference lies?

Joe Wolf 5 years, 10 months ago

I'm not sure Jay, but Black knows where he's best used on an NBA court, and I think that's helped him. He hit 57 shots last year and 31 of them were dunks. That's pretty awesome, first of all, but second of all it shows he knows his strengths.

Robinson on the other hand shot 20% on his jump shots last season, but jumpers made up 35% of his total shot selection (103/291). That's pretty awful when you think that over a third of players shots are converted at a 20% clip. Honestly, Robinson is more talented, but Black just plays his game.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 10 months ago

The biggest concern here is, what's the latest on T-Rob's sister Jayla?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.