The Los Angeles Lakers did an under the radar move that may have a huge payoff in the end. With the signing of free agent, Thomas Robinson to their Training Camp roster they have just become one of the deepest teams in the NBA.
Robinson is not the player he was envisioned to be coming out of college in 2012. He really never caught on with a roster and has spent his entire career as a journeyman. But his last two season with the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers showed that if given minutes he still can produce. The best part about this deal is his age. Robinson is only 25 years old, which fits right into what the Lakers are trying to do. Build young and cheap.
The frontcourt is loaded with Julius Randle, Yi Jianlian, Ryan Kelly and Larry Nance Jr, but if Robinson can produce like he did for the Nets and 76ers, he can easily take Kelly’s spot on the roster. Kelly is not much of a contributor. Last season Kelly averaged four points and three rebounds in 13 minutes of action. Those numbers don’t necessarily scream roster spot when you’re going into a new season with playoff hopes.
If the Lakers are serious about winning they must take a hard look at Robinson. Last season for the Nets in spot duty, he averaged four points and five rebounds as well in 13 minutes. The production may look the same on the outside but they are different players. Kelly is more of a perimeter guy, looking to hit a shot from 15-18 feet while Robinson is more of a low post player.
Neither player will make the All-Defensive team but Robinson has a higher motor due to his willingness to stick with a team. While with the 76ers in 2014 he averaged nine points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes. If the minutes are available, Robinson will produce. We still don’t know what HC, Luke Walton has in mind for the team offensively but coming off the bench for 12-13 minutes, if I had to choose would be Robinson.