Jerome Robinson finalized his decision to remain in the NBA draft by hiring an agent on April 28th. Robinson (20.8 PPG, 48.9 FG%, 41.9 3P%) enters the draft coming off an all-ACC 2nd team junior season, finishing just behind Duke’s Marvin Bagley III as the ACC’s top scorer. Following a strong performance in CAA Pro Day and NBA Combine workouts, Robinson is listed in the late first round of most expert mock drafts this month. With the June 21st draft night closing in, it is time to start thinking about where our favorite draftee might land. I’ll be taking a look at the late first round teams for the interest of this preview, though it is entirely possible that Jerome could go in the second round. HERE is the complete 2018 NBA draft order.
#24 Portland Trailblazers
On the surface, Portland doesn’t look like JRob’s the best fit. The 2017-18 Blazers were anchored by an outstanding backcourt duo comprised of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, and needed more immediate help in the frontcourt. Still, Portland could use a good scorer off the bench. Backup guards Pat Connaughton and Shabazz Napier combined to average under 10 PPG. This draft is top heavy with elite big men, but those players won’t be around at #24. Robinson could be a nice option, especially if paying both Lillard and McCollum isn’t in Portland’s long term plans.
#25 Los Angeles Lakers
Jerome Robinson is, in some ways, the anti-Lonzo Ball. And I mean that in the best way possible: he creates his own scoring, shoot swell from outside, and won’t come with any media circuses following him. The Lakers have shown the ability to find overperfomers in the late first round (read Kyle Kuzma at #27 via trade from Brooklyn). Could Jerome, a young shooter to compliment playmaker Lonzo, be next?
#26 Philadelphia 76ers
The Sixers seemed to fill their need for an offensive-minded guard in last year’s draft, but then Markelle Fultz turned out to be, well, Markelle Fultz. The Sixers are surely not ready to give up on their top overall pick, but they desperately need scoring help outside the paint. Robinson could be good insurance in case Fultz turns out to be a whiff, particularly if they don’t plan to retain JJ Redick as a free agent this summer. Keep your eye on twitter for any Jerome Robinson buzz from Bryan Colangelo’s burner accounts.
#27 Boston Celtics
While Danny Ainge has been spotted at Conte Forum this season, I’m not convinced Jerome Robinson is a draft target for the Celtics. He doesn’t really fit the profile of defensive-minded, long, wing types that the Celtics love. Still, if Ainge sees Terry Rozier as the valuable trade chip that many feel he could be after his strong playoff performance, a reliable scorer like Robinson could compliment Marcus Smart nicely as a backup guard. Don’t get me wrong; I would be the first in line for a Robinson Celtics jersey. I’m just not holding my breath.
#28 Golden State Warriors
What does a Western Conference powerhouse like Golden State need? Behind their dominant starting lineup, the Warriors are a bit thinner than you might think. This team carries four centers on their bench, and backup shooting guards Nick Young and Patrick McCaw averaged a whopping 4.2 combined PPG. Curry and Thompson have been dominant, but the end of an era for this dream team could be approaching in the next few years as the front office would have to convince multiple superstars to take pay cuts if they want to keep the band together. It would be wise for the Warriors to add some shooting depth for the future.
#29 Brooklyn Nets
Unlike the Warriors, the Nets need help now, and at almost every position. Unfortunately for Robinson, their greatest need is in the frontcourt. Spencer Dinwiddie performed well when Jeremy Lin went down early in the season, and D’Angelo Russell remains Brooklyn’s highest upside player if he can stay healthy. While the Nets could use talent wherever they can get it, they will likely shoot to fill a more glaring need with a rebounder/inside defender.
#30 Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks will likely land one of the premier big men at with their #3 pick at the top of the draft, and shoring up their backcourt depth with a shooting guard like Robinson with their other first-rounder wouldn’t be out of the question. The Hawks are another team that needs talent across the board, and Robinson could be a solid acquisition if he is still available at #30.
I may be biased, but what NBA team wouldn’t want THIS in the draft?
Where do you think Jerome will end up on June 21st?