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Bedore: Blazers F Thomas Robinson "Feels Wanted" In Portland

A Kansas University writer checks in with new Portland Trail Blazers forward Thomas Robinson, a former Jayhawks star, during the offseason.


Gary Bedore of checks in with new Portland Trail Blazers forward Thomas Robinson, who was back at Kansas University serving as a basketball camp counselor last weekend.

"It's a unique situation, but unique things tend to happen to me," the 22-year-old Robinson added Sunday at Bill Self's Basketball Pro Camp in Allen Fieldhouse. "It feels like I've been in the league five years already. It's only been one. It's a good thing. It's matured me as a player, matured me as a person. It humbled me a lot."


"I talked to (KU) coach Self a couple times this year, more than a couple actually," Robinson said. "He constantly told me the same thing he told me when I struggled before my junior year - just be a rebounder. That's what I'm going to do."


Robinson said he's motivated to play for the Blazers, who have made it clear he's somebody the front office values.

"I feel wanted there, which is a good thing," Robinson said. "They are young, especially with the main core guys, so I will try to go in there, find a spot to help the team. For them to come in and make me feel like it's home for me is definitely a big deal."

The Blazers agreed to trade two future second-round picks and the rights to Kostas Papanikolau and Marko Todorovic to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Robinson back in June.

Blazers GM Neil Olshey offered this statement in announcing the trade.

"Thomas is a dynamic young big man with tremendous upside," said Olshey. "He is an elite athlete and brings a unique set of physical tools to our roster. He has the potential to be one of the best young power forwards in the league and his development will be a priority for us."

Olshey added further comments at a press conference and in a quick Q&A.

Robinson, 22, was the No. 5 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. He averaged 4.8 points and 4.5 rebounds for the Sacramento Kings and Rockets last season. He was traded by the Kings to the Rockets at the trade deadline. Robinson will make $3.5 million next season, the second year of his rookie contract.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter