Nets: Is there still hope for Thomas Robinson?


Mar 14, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Brooklyn Nets forward Thaddeus Young (30) drives past Philadelphia 76ers forward Thomas Robinson (41) during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. The Nets won 94-87. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The 2012 NBA draft was filled with strong prospects. Anthony Davis, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, and many more have already gone on to do great things. However, in his first three seasons, 5th pick Thomas Robinson, has been a colossal bust. Bouncing around the league already, Robinson has done almost nothing to show that he was worth being the 5th pick in the draft. But, is there still hope that he can materialize into something more than just energy off the bench?

Robinson, coming out of college at Kansas, was seen as a player that could dominate the game in many different facets. He is athletic, coordinated, and has good length. He was known as a terrific rebounder who could score the ball with athleticism alone. At 6’10”, Robinson had the size to become an all around star at PF. However, he never seemed to improve at all. His offensive game did not develop, and his rebounding prowess was not enough to keep him in the game consistently. His defense was average at best, and did not earn any playing time on a Kings team that lacked talent all over the court.

After just half a year, the Kings decided that he wasn’t worth any more development time, and they shipped him to Houston in a massive trade that involved very few impact players. Finishing the year in Houston, Robinson looked to make more of an impact. Instead, it was more of the same: lack of offense and average defense to go along with slightly above average rebounding.

After his rookie year, Robinson looked for a fresh start. He was shipped to Portland for scraps, and he was ready to try to become the player that many people envisioned he would become. However, his 2013-2014 season was nearly identical to his rookie year, except for getting even less playing time than he did as a rookie. Robinson, once again, failed to make an impact. After a year and a half in Portland, the Blazers shipped him to Philadelphia, where careers seemingly go to die nowadays.

Apr 8, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Thomas Robinson (41) dribbles against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center. The Wizards won 119-90. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

However, with the Sixers, Robinson played better than he ever had. He averaged career highs in points and rebounds, averaging 8.8 points and 7.7 rebounds in just 18 minutes per game. On a team lacking talent, Robinson stepped up and improved his game. While it wasn’t extremely impressive, it was definitely a step up from what people had come to expect from the supposed bust. Robinson showed a glimmer of hope that he might become a good player in the league.

This past off-season, Robinson turned that performance in Philly into a contract with the Nets. Not much will be expected from him, but maybe that’s just what Robinson needs. With a great post player like Brook Lopez and a great shooter like Joe Johnson, Robinson will be getting mentored by the right players. If Robinson can perform the way he did in Philly and continue to improve, the Nets may have found themselves a quality player under the radar. Keep an eye out for Robinson, because great things could be coming.