Thomas Robinson Will Prove to Be Steal of 2012 NBA Draft for Sacramento Kings

Sim RissoFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2012

NEWARK, NJ - JUNE 28:  Thomas Robinson (R) of the Kansas Jayhawks greets NBA Commissioner David Stern (L) after he was selected number five overall by the Sacramento Kings during the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft at Prudential Center on June 28, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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The Sacramento Kings used the No. 5 pick in the 2012 NBA draft to select power forward Thomas Robinson from the University of Kansas. And while there are many great players in the draft, Thomas Robinson will end up being a steal for the Sacramento Kings.

You may be wondering how that sort of a determination can be made before Robinson even steps on an NBA court. Well, there are a few reasons why. For one, Robinson is an excellent prospect, and the Kings were lucky he fell to them at No. 5.

But secondly, and more important for Sacramento, is that pairing the 6'9" Robinson with second-year center DeMarcus Cousins, who is one of the top big men in the NBA, will form one of the league's best young front lines.

Cousins, who is only 21 years old, made huge strides for the Kings last season. He averaged 18.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He was also sixth in the NBA in double-doubles with 36.

Robinson, in his own right, is an excellent player. He improved greatly at Kansas between his sophomore and junior seasons. Last season, Robinson averaged 17.7 points, 11.9 rebounds and shot 50.5 percent from the field.

What we've seen throughout the history of the draft is that some skills don't always translate. But one that almost always does is rebounding. Robinson was an excellent rebounder at Kansas last year, and that's a skill that should carry over to Sacramento.

When the Kings pair Robinson with Cousins, they'll easily have one of the best rebounding front lines in the NBA. That's not even assuming that Robinson will provide anything on offense, which he will.

From watching Robinson last season, it was obvious that he really added to his repertoire. Instead of relying solely on size and athleticism, Robinson developed a good post game and added enough range to consistently knock down a 15-foot jump shot.

That's not to say that Robinson isn't athletic because he certainly is. He's got excellent leaping ability, and his 7'4" wingspan should only help him.

Sacramento desperately needed an impact player at No. 5, and it looks like they got one in Robinson. Between his rebounding ability, improved offensive game and athleticism, Robinson could be the steal of the draft. Pairing him with Cousins only adds to the allure.

The Kings might be on their way back to relevance, and their new front line of Thomas Robinson and DeMarcus Cousins is a big reason why.