Not many people may know Glenn Robinson III, the second round draft pick for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2014 NBA draft, but I believe Robinson could be important part of the team’s future if given the chance. Earlier this week, Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune reported via Twitter that Flip Saunders, the coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, said that it would be hard for the Timberwolves to find a roster spot for Robinson. However, Zgoda said he got the impression by the way Saunders was acting that he expected Robinson to be on the team.
Robinson, the son of former NBA All-Star Glenn Robinson Jr., played two years of college basketball at the University of Michigan, averaging about 12 points and five rebounds per game. While not jaw-dropping stats for college, Robinson was a key player on a Michigan team that nearly won the NCAA tournament in 2013, and his extraordinary athleticism was on display whenever he played.
At 6’7’’, Robinson has the ability to play shooting guard or small forward, which helps his staying power as he is a solid defender who can play multiple positions. He can shoot the three, but he isn’t great at it. One of his biggest strengths is his ability to finish at the rim, something that can certainly be attributed to his athleticism. Like many of the young players on the current Timberwolves roster, Robinson has a lot of potential, so it is hard to be certain about how good he can be, additionally the Timberwolves roster is currently full with signed players, so someone needs to be cut to be included in the 15 players that make the Timberwolves roster.
Fortunately for Robinson, as Saunders is the team president of operations in addition to being the head coach of the Timberwolves, which means that Saunders must believe in Robinson’s talent as he is the one who drafted Robinson. Unfortunately for Robinson, he has not been signed yet to his rookie contract so it appears the Timberwolves are waiting to make sure they have a spot for him on the roster before giving him a contract.
The player the Timberwolves are most likely to replace on their roster for Robinson would be J.J. Barea. They already tried to include him in the three team Kevin Love trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Philadelphia 76ers, but the Sixers didn’t want him. With the collection of point guards the Timberwolves already have in Ricky Rubio, Mo Williams and Zach LaVine, Barea is the weakest link on the roster, as he can only play point guard, is a defensive liability and has a bad attitude on the court when things aren’t going his way.
After this recent trade for Andrew Wiggins, Thaddeus Young and Anthony Bennett in exchange for Love, my faith in Saunders’ ability to make a deal has grown substantially. So, I am fairly confident Saunders will figure out a way to get Robinson on the team. However, even if Saunders fails in his attempt to save Robinson from the clutches of other NBA teams, the Timberwolves should still be fine for the future, they just won’t be as good as they could be.