LAS VEGAS — Thomas Robinson has been one of the more underwhelming first round picks at the NBA Summer League, though that’s partially due to the high expectations bestowed upon the first round pick. The Sacramento Kings played their fifth and final game on Thursday evening, though, giving Robinson one last chance to keep Kings fans from becoming too concerned.
Robinson’s box score still wasn’t overly impressive as he made just six of his 14 shot attempts and only hit half of his six free-throw attempts, but watching him for the fifth time over the course of this week, the rookie showed the reason he was made the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft (and, due to a uniform snafu, he did it all without a name or number on his back).
Robinson had a better attitude than he’s previously showed at Summer League as it didn’t seem like he got down on himself after every missed shot he took and, with that, came an increase in rebounds. The power forward pulled down 16 rebounds while matched up with Jared Sullinger who, for the first time since the Orlando Summer League began last week (eight games of Summer League action thus far for the Celtics), looked underwhelming.
Sullinger and Robinson were likely matches many times throughout the pre-draft process and, had it not been for Sullinger being red-flagged, it sounded like they might be selected in roughly the same spot in this year’s Draft. Robinson showed Thursday that that would have been a mistake, however, as Sullinger was held to just six points on seven shots to go with five fouls and four turnovers.
It’s tough to make too much of a Summer League performance, but Robinson seems closer to being who we thought he’d be following Thursday’s performance.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the teams getting a D-League affiliate franchise this season. The Windy City Bulls will play in the suburb of Hoffman Estates, and now they have a head coach: North Carolina State assistant Bobby Lutz.
Via Upside & Motor‘s Chris Reichert:
Lutz was previously linked to the Bulls’ D-League job in July but there was confusion as to whether he would actually get the job. Now, it appears he has. And he has familiarity with the coaching staff, having served as an assistant coach at Iowa State under Fred Hoiberg in 2010-11, prior to going to NC State.
The release of NBA 2K17, the latest edition of the popular 2K video-game series, is less than a month away. Players are starting to get their likenesses in the game, as well as their player ratings, and tweet them out. Magic forward Evan Fournier wasn’t too happy with the way his came out.
Fournier’s countryman Rudy Gobert got in on the fun, too, changing his Twitter avatar to Fournier’s screenshot and encouraging others to do the same. He even created a hashtag for it.
At least they’re having fun with it.
On Friday, the Jazz traded German center Tibor Pleiss to the Sixers along with two second-round picks for Kendall Marshall. The big draw of the trade for Philly was the picks, and Pleiss is not expected to stay with the Sixers, according to Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia’s Jessica Camerato.
Pleiss had a forgettable season with Utah, and the Sixers have a glut of bigs including Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric. It would have been virtually impossible for Pleiss to crack the rotation, and it’s unlikely another team picks up his contract, which has $3 million guaranteed this season.
As a Jordan Brand athlete, Russell Westbrook is under the same Nike umbrella as former teammate Kevin Durant. But his latest Jordan spot, released Friday, has a very pointed tagline: “Some run, some make runways.”
Given the circumstances, it’s hard to interpret that as anything other than a reference to Durant signing with the Warriors and Westbrook signing an extension with the Thunder.