Kings get hard worker, good story in Robinson with No. 5 pick
The Sacramento Kings got a hard worker and a good story by drafting Kansas forward Thomas Robinson with the No. 5 overall pick of the first round of Thursday’s NBA draft.
The Kings had to feel fortunate to get Robinson, who played three college seasons and was expected to go as high as No. 2 in the draft.
“The teams that skipped past me didn’t need me at their position and the Kings took a chance on me and took me at five,” Robinson said, according to the Sacramento Bee. “And I’m going to make the best of that.”
Robinson provides a frontcourt complement to second-year center DeMarcus Cousins, who averaged 18.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks as an NBA roookie.
The 6-9 Robinson was not even a starter his first two seasons at Kansas, when he played behind the Morris twins. He showed his incredible work ethic as a junior, muscling his way to first-team All-American status by averaging 17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds, much of it on sheer will. His offensive game is much improved from his first two seasons, but it is still somewhat limited.
He knows how to get position on the block and power his way to the basket, but he loses some of his effectiveness when he wanders to the perimeter. As strong and as athletic as he is, he will be a bit undersized at his position in the pros. But his wingspan gives him a reach comparable to Blake Griffin and Kevin Love, two of the NBA’s top power forwards.
Robinson’s personal story is an inspiring one as well. During one two-month stretch during his sophomore season in college, both his grandparents and his mother died.
Robinson promised to take care of his younger sister, Jayla, then 9. Robinson announced his decision to turn pro on her birthday.
As a player, Robinson is compared to David West. The Kings were looking for help at either the small forward or power forward spot, and Robinson might be able to play either.