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2018 NBA Draft Player Profile: Mitchell Robinson

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Does Mitchell Robinson have the tools to be an effective big man in the modern NBA?

Mitchell Robinson is a 6’11” skilled big man who last played at Chalmette High School during the 2016-17 Season. Robinson averaged 25.7 points per game and 12.6 rebounds as a Senior at Chalmette. He signed to play college ball at Western Kentucky, however, he left school before the season started. There is some mystery around why he left school but many speculate it is because his godfather Shammond Williams abruptly quit as an assistant coach for WKU. There has been no public explanation from Robinson as to why he left but he did announce last year that he will train for the NBA draft. There are a lot of unknowns about Robinson, but he is projected to play PF/C at the next level. He should be able to defend at least the 4/5 position in the NBA and has shown the range to shoot from outside in high school, although not at a great percentage.

College Stats

None

Strengths

  1. Plays With Strength, Power. Granted the only video we have of him playing is against other high school players, but Mitchell has a lot of power moves around the rim and seems to be skilled at finishing with a 2pt FG% of 69%. If he will put in the work to fill out his body and learn how to adapt to NBA size, he will be a very good around the hoop in his pro career
  2. Good Defender Who Will Probably Be Able To Defend At Least Two Positions. With Robinson’s size he will most likely be able to defend most 4’s or 5’s in the NBA effectively. He will need to bulk up a little bit in order to be effective against anybody, but as long as he is willing to put in the work that should be a strength. It is unknown how effective he can be at defending the pick and roll but he has enough speed and agility to be capable at that.
  3. Good Weak Side Help Defender. Robinson has shown the speed necessary to be a good help defender in the NBA. If he does end up playing mostly at the 4, He will be a good complement next to another big on the defensive end.

Weaknesses

  1. Limited Experience Against Top Talent, Did Not Play At The College Level. Robinson was projected as around the 10th best prospect coming out of high school and showed well at the McDonald’s All American game. It is a little mysterious, if not alarming, that he was not able to sign and play with a bigger name college basketball program. That combined with the fact that he withdrew and didn’t play a minute of college ball is an even bigger red flag. His lack of experience against better competition is a big question mark and even if he can adjust to the NBA, it is going to be even more difficult than usual.
  2. Potentially Undersized Against Other NBA Fives. Robinson could be seen as a “tweener” in the NBA. 6’11” 215 pounds is big when your in high school but in the NBA it might be a little more difficult to figure out his most effective position. With a handful of centers that are bigger than that in the NBA, it might be difficult for him to adjust as a true five in the NBA.

Utah Jazz Fit

I don’t think that Robinson fits extremely well with the Jazz. Even if you assume that Favors is not going to be re-signed by the Jazz, Robinson seems like more of a project than somebody who could come in and contribute right away. There is a possibility of being a backup center to Rudy Gobert, but Tony Bradley seems to be on that track already. There is also the question of character surrounding the events of him leaving college without telling anybody about it, including his coaches.

Likelihood Of The Jazz Drafting Him

I don’t think it is very likely that the Jazz draft him unless he really impresses them in his pre-draft workout. There is really no consensus on where he will be picked but most mock drafts have him going anywhere from 15-30 in the first round so there is a possibility he will be available. I think the Jazz will end up passing on him though.

Sources: Draft Express, Sports Reference, Basketball Insiders