Thomas Robinson: Going to Wizards Would Make Him the Rookie of the Year Favorite
At this point, saying that anyone but Anthony Davis will win Rookie of the Year following the 2012-2013 season seems almost sacrilegious. I'm going to do it anyway.
Thomas Robinson, if and only if he is drafted by the Washington Wizards at No. 3 in the 2012 NBA draft, will bring home the hardware as the league's top first-year player at the conclusion of the next season.
While Davis is an immediate game-changer on defense, he's going to struggle initially on the more glamorous end of the court, even if his offense is a little bit underrated. Whether it's fair or not, offense tends to be what generates the most votes.
Robinson is one of the most NBA-ready players in the draft after he became a walking, living, sleeping, eating, breathing, drinking and dreaming double-double during his junior season at Kansas. If the power forward didn't score at least 10 points and pull down double-digit rebounds in a single game, it was a complete and utter shock.
While there will undoubtedly be an adjustment period, the same will quickly become true at the next level thanks to the National Player of the Year runner-up's abundance of physical tools.
Big and strong, Robinson is also one of the more athletic players in this draft class. He can jump for both height and explosiveness and those aren't even his best traits. Robinson's quickness, both into the air and laterally on the ground, make him a threat on both ends of the court.
I've often compared Robinson to the Energizer Bunny, and for good reason. When he steps onto the court, he just keeps going, and going, and going, and going, and, well you get the point.
Between these physical tools, his solid post moves and his above-average jump-shot, Robinson can immediately contribute in an NBA offense while providing good defense and a true ability to clean the glass.
This will especially be true if he's paired up with the current Washington Wizards roster. The presence of Nene Hilario on the block will only help Robinson as the low post defense of the opposition is forced to pay more attention to the more established back-to-the-basket player.
However, the biggest reason for inevitable success is John Wall. The former Kentucky Wildcat hasn't become quite the player the Wizards envisioned when they used a No. 1 pick on the floor general, but he's become a solid point guard and still possesses elite upside.
Wall may still struggle with his jump shot, but he's already terrific at finding his teammates and racking up the assists. During both of his two seasons at the professional level, Wall has averaged at least eight assists per game.
Stop and think about that for a second. He's averaged eight assists per game during his first two seasons, despite playing with a definitive lack of elite talent around him. Just imagine how good he could make Robinson look.
Additionally, Wall is one of the league's best transition players. With his blazing quickness and his great handles, Wall is absolutely deadly in transition. Thanks to the aforementioned physical tools that the former Jayhawk possesses, he is going to be the same way.
No one will be able to keep up with this potential duo in the open court and the amount of lobs thrown from Wall to Robinson will be simply staggering.
I can't ever remember my dreams, but I'm sure that some of them have involved watching the Wall-Robinson fast-break combo.
Because of this inevitable offensive contribution—still operating on the assumption that the Charlotte Bobcats pass on him at No. 2 and the Wizards take him with the next pick—Robinson would be the early front-runner for Rookie of the Year.
He may not have the same level of upside as that possessed by The Unibrow and I still believe that Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Bradley Beal, Damian Lillard and Jeremy Lamb will all end up having more successful careers, but Robinson will get off to the quickest start.
When we're talking about the Rookie of the Year, that's all that matters.
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