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Judgment call: The impact of Wizards moving on from Devin Robinson

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Judgment call: The impact of Wizards moving on from Devin Robinson

Some quick big-picture thoughts on the Wizards moving on from Devin Robinson following the forward’s arrest early Saturday morning

The organization was swift with a statement upon learning of Robinson’s arrest: “We are aware of the incident this morning involving Devin and are disappointed in his actions. We will not extend him a qualifying offer for the 2019-20 season.”

This was a judgment call. Not by the Wizards, but Robinson, and his actions* overnight played a factor in the team’s decision.

(*The incident, a fight with Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills, led to the arrest of both men and Robinson needing medical attention at a local hospital. One report stating the incident stemmed from Robinson feeling that Mills shouldn’t be in DC since he doesn’t play for a Washington team is not accurate according to multiple sources close to the situation.)

The athletic, 6-foot-8 forward showed growth during his two years with the organization on a two-way contract. He averaged 19.9 points and 8.2 rebounds in 22 games this season for the Capital City Go-Go, Washington’s G-League affiliate. Robinson became the Wizards’ bounciest player following the December trade that sent Kelly Oubre Jr. to Phoenix. The intrigue led with those hops.

The Wizards’ roster is light on players under contract for the 2019-20 season. They must add some players on minimum deals based on their limited salary cap space. Washington’s other two-way player, Jordan McRae, received a non-guaranteed NBA contract for next season before the team’s final game of the regular season.

Robinson did not. While a path existed, sources familiar with the situation are not convinced the 2018 undrafted free agent would have remained with the organization regardless of his arrest.

The general plan centered on gauging Robinson for another summer before making a firm commitment.

The University of Florida product dealt with injuries during his time with Washington, including a hip ailment that kept Robinson off the court for several weeks this season. The slender 200-pound forward would have an offseason of workouts and the NBA Summer League to show whether he could hold up physically.

Robinson never made it that far. Regardless of whatever details emerge of the incident outside a Northwest Washington club may reveal, Robinson put himself in a difficult spot. Considering everything at stake, his questionable judgment moved the organization to take action.

Tommy Sheppard, Senior Vice President of Basketball Operations, is the interim leader of the Wizards’ front office following the dismissal of team president Ernie Grunfeld.

From the Wizards angle, there’s certainly frustration based on having worked with Robinson for two years, during which he only played eight NBA games. Assuming Washington does not pick up Jabari Parker’s $20 million team option, there is not a single forward on the current 2019-20 roster.

However, Robinson, 24, is a bit old for a true developmental player, and it was far from certain he would enter the rotation or make the roster next season.

Not built for banging inside, Robinson only shot 30.4 percent on 3-point attempts (24 of 79) with the Go-Go this season.  

Many players entering the 2019 NBA Draft are 3-5 years younger than Robinson. The Wizards, who do not have a second-round pick this year, are likely to add 1-2 undrafted free agents on two-way contracts if not the main roster, as they did with Daniel Ochefu, Sheldon Mac and Danuel House in 2016.

Maybe another summer with the team’s developmental staff unlocks another level for Robinson, whose jump-out-of-the-gym athleticism wowed onlookers. The Wizards need that skill set as they look to push the pace generally and specifically whenever John Wall returns from his ruptured Achilles. They will look for that element elsewhere this offseason. 


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Devin Robinson’s dunk steals the show at the Wizards Summer League

Devin Robinson’s dunk steals the show at the Wizards Summer League

There are many things to be excited about in the Washington Wizards prospect Devin Robinson, but none are quite as nice as the poster dunk he threw down in the Summer League on Friday. 

All week he has impressed anyone that has been watching and this play against the Dallas Maverick is just the icing on the cake. 

With a three-on-two advantage, the 23-year-old used the hardwood as a springboard to the rim. Poor Maverick Kyle Collinsworth decided to have a cameo in Robinson’s highlight.

Someone must not have told Dallas to keep an eye this guy in the fastbreak.

Although the Wizards would go on to lose to the Mavericks and end their Summer League, this is what everyone will be talking about. This also was not the first time that he has thrown it down

Robinson, who played his college ball in Florida, is an electric two-way player and has been balling out at the NBA Summer League. Standing at 6-8, Robinson has been leading the Wizards as he looks to impress his coaches and other NBA executives this summer. With 21.5 ppg coming into Friday’s contest, Robinson was fourth in scoring of all players at the Las Vegas Summer League. 

His 13 points on 4-for-14 shooting in this contest will be overlooked, and rightfully so. He still managed 12 rebounds, a block, and a steal.

With a 7-0 wingspan and more plays like this, there is no doubt he deserves a role with the Wizards, rather than just playing in the G-league. 

And a second view for your pleasure:

Bradley Beal and Jason Smith also approved: