Thomas Robinson: Making the Case for Kansas Star over Bradley Beal at No. 2

Sam R. Quinn@SamQuinn_Senior Analyst IIIJune 27, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - APRIL 02:  Thomas Robinson #0 of the Kansas Jayhawks dunks the ball in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats in the National Championship Game of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on April 2, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

With the draft less than 36 hours away, things are looking as unpredictable as ever on draft boards all over the NBA world.

Will the Charlotte Bobcats take Thomas Robinson at No. 2? Is Bradley Beal the answer for Michael Jordan? Can a new culture be ushered in by the Michael Kidd-Gilchrist era?

These are all questions that fans and pundits have running through their heads in the final hours leading up to draft day.

We'll try to clear some of that up for you here by convincing the Bobcats to take Robinson over Beal.

The Bobcats need so much help that you have to feel bad for the organization. They were unlucky enough to grab the No. 2 pick in a year where the top player is in a tier of his own, and the rest of the prospects are pretty much interchangeable.

Jordan and company aren't totally out of luck...yet, but their misfortune will be magnified if they draft Beal over Robinson.

The first word that comes to mind when you think of Robinson is "explosive." You saw him on SportsCenter Top 10 at least a dozen times over the course of the college basketball season—throwing down thunderous put-back and alley-oop dunks.

As fun as dunks are to watch, his explosiveness and athletic ability don't just lead to scoring opportunities. Robinson averaged 11.9 rebounds per game in his final season under Bill Self. He's a long power forward with a 7'4" wingspan and a 8'10" reach, which makes up for his slightly undersized 6'9" frame.

Robinson's length, strength and tenacity are exactly what the Bobcats need on the roster.

As a team, the Bobcats averaged just 39 rebounds, putting them at 29th in the league. This next point is pretty simple: If your team doesn't get as many rebounds as the opponent, you're going to have less opportunities to put the ball in the hoop.

A lack of rebounding numbers doesn't just lead to lower scoring numbers, it leads to higher point totals yielded to the opposition. We saw that last season when the Bobcats allowed 100.9 points per game  and only scored 87.

T-Rob is the best low-post defensive prospect in the top five, other than Anthony Davis. He bodies guys down low, and already has the perfectly developed body for an NBA big man.

Let's get this out of the way: Beal may be a more talented player than Robinson, but he won't fit with the Bobcats.

Beal's primary calling card is his silky jump shot, but I'm not sold on him. Sure, he has the prototypical Ray Allen-esque technique, but he shot just 34 percent from behind the arc in his only college season. I really don't know what to make of that, but it definitely brings about some doubt.

He has the ability to get hot and score in bunches, but that doesn't make him a good fit for the Bobcats.

Charlotte drafted Kemba Walker with the intention of molding him into their franchise player—one that would lead them to the promise land. Walker hasn't been the godsend that the Bobcats wanted him to be, but they surely aren't ready to give him the boot yet either.

Beal needs the ball in his hands to be effective. Walker needs the ball in his hands to have an impact. The former Connecticut star is going to be taking a lot of shots in the coming years, and having Beal on the wing to take some of those shots away from him won't help his development.

If we've learned one thing, it's that defense wins basketball games. Beal isn't a bad defender by any stretch of the imagination, but he's not as versatile or physical on the defensive end as Robinson is.

The former Florida Gator is a bit small for a shooting guard, and his other measurements didn't blow the field away. He stands 6'3.25" without shoes on, which is concerning because he may not be able to get shots off over taller 2-guards. His 8'3" reach isn't promising. Neither is his 6'8" wingspan.

Beal is one of the most talented players in this draft class, but he isn't the right guy for the Bobcats.

When a team can't add a No. 1 talent, rebuilding an NBA franchise is about starting with pieces essential to success—like defenders and rebounders. With Bismack Biyombo and Robinson down low, the Bobcats would become one of the toughest teams in the paint in a few years.

Getting the best of your opponent starts with the battle down low, and there's no better way for the Bobcats to start that process than by drafting Robinson at No. 2.