The Trail Blazers offseason is upon us, and the 2018 NBA Draft will provide Portland with an opportunity to supplement its roster with a talented youngster. With only the No. 24 pick at their disposal on draft night, the Blazers will look to thread the needle by finding an NBA-worthy prospect in the latter stages of the first round. Today we will be taking a closer look at Boston College guard Jerome Robinson.
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 188
- Wingspan: 6’7”
- Shoots: Right
- Position: SG
- Age: 21
- Projected draft range: 28-38
- PPG: 20.7 | Per 40: 23.0
- APG: 3.3 | Per 40: 3.7
- RPG: 3.6 | Per 40: 4.0
- STL: 0.9 | Per 40: 1.0
- FG%: 48.5
- 3P%: 40.9
- FT%: 83.0
From a scoring standpoint, Robinson ranks as one of the most polished performers in this class. Three-point shooting will catch the eye of NBA evaluators, but the 21-year-old guard is capable of scoring from multiple spots in a variety of ways. From beyond the arc, Robinson moves well without the ball and can complete his shot quickly while running off screens. Armed with one of the most effective pull-up shots in the country, he is able to record points from the midrange. In the paint, Robinson isn’t shy about playing through contact and can finish above the rim if given an adequate window. Robinson has shown glimpses of being a serviceable overall facilitator, but he most dangerous when acting as the ball handler inside the pick-and-roll. Thanks to his multi-faceted skillset, he is excellent at creating space by keeping his defender guessing. On defense, Robinson’s solid wingspan and prospective positional flexibility serve as the baseline for his future as a two-way player.
As you probably noticed, Robinson’s strengths primarily featured his gifts on offense. Due to his slight frame, he struggles with getting stuck on screens when chasing down his assignment on defense. Compounding his physical limitations is the wide valley between Robinson’s defensive instincts and his offensive acumen. Perhaps his lack of defense is due to how much energy he exerts on offense, but that raises questions about his motor if true.
Offensively, Robinson’s weaknesses are tied to turnovers. When facing competent defensive schemes aimed at slowing him down, Robinson displayed the tendency to dribble himself into trouble.
Robinson completed a rare feat last year at Boston College. While maintaining a similar scoring output, he managed to raise all his shooting percentages across the board in his final season in the ACC. Unfortunately for Robinson, Boston College only managed to qualify for the NIT with a 19-16 record. His season came to an abrupt end against Western Kentucky in the opening round of postseason play, but before that, Robinson managed to drop 46 points on Notre Dame in conference play.
Like most wings slotted to be selected outside of the lottery, Robinson has solid gifts accompanying noticeable flaws. He is a coach’s dream when it comes to offense, and could be plugged into a variety of roles with relative ease. It is another story on the defensive end, as the the 21-year-old North Carolina native will likely need to be hidden on a favorable assignment early in his career. Lack of defense will likely keep him off the floor in crunch time, but his offense will add a nice scoring punch to a second unit. Given his current position on most draft boards, Robinson fits the mold of an enticing late-round sleeper.
Defense could impede Portland’s interest in Robinson. His weaknesses resonate with deficiencies already present in the majority of the Blazers’ backcourt members. Even with that in mind, Robinson’s offensive game could immediately translate to the NBA. His ability to create his own shot would take a significant amount of pressure off CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard when facing stout defenses. Robinson can play without the ball in his hands, potentially remaining effective while sharing minutes with Lillard or McCollum. With Shabazz Napier and Pat Connaughton entering a summer full of contract uncertainty, it could prove wise to invest in a player that already has a handful of NBA-ready skills. If Robinson’s defensive lapses appear correctable, he could easily fit into the Blazers’ short-term and long-term plans.
Do you want to see Robinson in a Trail Blazers jersey next season? What prospect would you like to see us highlight next? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
—Steve / @SteveDHoops / BEdgeSteve@gmail.com