Height: 6’4″ w/o shoes
Weight: 188.4 lbs.
School: Boston College
Season stats: 36 minutes, 20.7 points, 3.3 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 48.5% FG, 40.9% 3PT, 83% FT
DraftExpress Rank: 35
As a Laker fan, I’m sworn to dislike all things Boston. Hate, in fact.
But if there’s one thing that would be awesome, it would be drafting one of the best players from that area and watching him succeed as a Laker. His name is Jerome Robinson.
Robinson is a high-level, three-level scorer. He plays as a combo guard, but comfortable running pick-and-roll situations; a tremendous ball-handler and shooter. He’s the perfect complement to Lonzo Ball. While we wish Ball was a more consistent shooter or more effective scorer in pick and roll, Robinson has those skills in spades.
Attacking the basket – Simply put, he has the moves. He’s got a quick first step. He’s able to change speed and direction. Things get crazier with his hesitation dribble, step-back move, and his ability to split double teams. Around the rim, he has average craft, but manages to convert against some contact. Also, there’s some explosiveness when he has room.
Shooting – The guy, also has all of the shots. Not all of the shots in, create something out of nothing like Kobe Bryant can, but more like, the three-point shot, on-and-off the dribble, the mid-range shot and good finishing around the hoop, on-ball and off-ball. He shoots 40.9 percent on nearly six attempts per game and looks equally effective on catch-and-shoot shots to pull up shots. Maybe down the line, he’ll have the pull up three-pointer in transition.
Playmaking – He has all of the vision. He doesn’t have all of the passing. What do I mean? Well, he’s capable of making advanced reads out of pick and rolls, hitting the corner shooters when the defenses close into the paint. He can hit the roll-man just as effectively.
He’s capable of making quality plays like this:
But for some odd reason, some his passes don’t have as much velocity or are slightly off-target. His vision shows with his career average of a 20 percent assist rate, quite good for a wing player, especially as a secondary initiator, and his turnover rate is down to 13.9 percent, but his passes could be a lot sharper and more decisive.
He’s also prone to making plays like this:
Completing these passes comes with NBA experience. He has shown flashes of completing passes off the dribble, but the first one was off-target. In the second clip, he passes right into the roll-man’s hands, but doesn’t see the back-line defense rotating.
Improvement could be made here. While he has great height, he is a bit light. His size and frame may remind some people of Caris LeVert. LeVert has a 7′ wingspan, but both players are on the lighter side of the wing position. His 6’7.25″ wingspan is fairly average to his 6’4″ height at the NBA level.
He has quick feet and moves well laterally, and sometimes plays more physical than his size indicates. His motor does tend to waver. But, at roughly 181 pounds, it is best that he sticks to quicker players initially. Perhaps with added strength, he’ll be able to handle more physical wing players and become a three-way switch defender. Not much would be expected of him in terms of creating events with steals or blocks as his last year was a down year in both categories. His steal rate dropped from 2.8% to 1.4% from his sophomore to junior year. His block rate dropped from 1.2% to 0.4% as well. He has shown ability in the past to force turnovers, with average steal and block rates during his first two seasons at Boston College.
It should be noted that Boston College only has one player that blocks one shot per game. While Jerome Robinson’s block and steal rates have dropped, opponent field goal percentage dropped from 47% to 44.5% from his sophomore to junior year as well.
With incredibly high usage rate (30.7 percent sophomore year, 27.3 percent junior year), it’s possible that energy was saved for the offensive end.
Fit with Lakers
One major reason why I like him is the experience that he’s gone through at Boston College. During his freshman year, Boston College won just 7 games. During his sophomore year, Boston College improved to 9 wins. Unlike most blue chip prospects, he helped work his team through adversity to eventually become the 19 game winner this past season. Adding Ky Bowman did help in terms of guard talent, but a lot of improvement and development came from within the team itself.
I can’t help but think that while his midrange shooting percentage, while well above average at 43.4%, could also be improved with NBA strength training. He has shown tremendous confidence with advanced footwork to get open looks from this area, but sometimes the shots are just a bit flat.
While his passing may not be bullseye accurate, I doubt that he’d be tasked with the responsibility of high usage pick-and-roll play early on. It definitely helps that he finds open teammates. More accurate passing off-the-dribble can come with time.
When I think about great backcourts, I think of complementary talent. Lonzo Ball had that with Aaron Holiday and Bryce Alford with slashing and shooting. Robinson has both of those skills. He’s a great fit next to Ball.
His ball-handling and vision would allow Lonzo to play more off-ball where he can get more uncontested looks on lob attempts or be found in the corner for an open three-point shot. Having a dynamic shot creator at the guard spot, would go a long way for the current Laker team.
(Much thanks to Cody Wright of @NBAdraftwire for the film work, and Hoop-math.com for the data.)