Wizards

Quick Links

Thomas Robinson embraces return to D.C.

718048.png

Thomas Robinson embraces return to D.C.

Thomas Wolfe once wrote the novel whose title has become part of the American lexicon: You cant go home again. Thomas Robinson clearly disagrees with Mr. Wolfe.On the verge of fulfilling his dream by playing in the NBA, the D.C. native and Kansas All-American power forward visited with the hometown Wizards on Wednesday. He would be fine if the Verizon Center became his professional home.Robinsons first individual team workout for before the June 28 NBA Draft had a pinch me quality.Growing up here, Ive always been a Wizards fan, said a grinning Robinson to a crowd of reporters huddled around the chiseled prospect outside the team's practice court. "This is a dream. This is big to me to be right here right now.It might also be the Wizards dream to select the double-double machine with the third overall pick.

Though the current mix of interior options has intriguing potential, the same can be said of the broad shouldered Robinson, who led the nation as a junior with 27 double-doubles and Kansas to the national championship game. The Wizards are likely to choose between Robinson, Florida guard Bradley Beal, Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and North Carolina swingman Harrison Barnes. TheCharlotte Bobcats, owners of theNo. 2 pick, are also said to be interested in Robinson.The nearly 6-foot-9, 244 pounder grew up as a wannabe guard in the Southeast section of the city, rooting for his favorite Wizard, Gilbert Arenas and that Michael Jordan fella for that little bit of time. His high school playing days began at Eastern before starring at Riverdale Baptist and then matriculating to Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.Some athletes choose to follow Mr. Wolfes dictum, desiring a career away from the hometown diversions of home. Those considerations, Robinson said, factored into his decision to leave town for college. Now, ready to begin his professional career, Robinson embraces the opportunity. I feel much more mature than I was going into college, Robinson said. Its part of that challenge that I want to take on. There are distractions here, but thats just something I have to deal with. If I focus on basketball, I shouldnt have to worry about that."Robinsons nine-year-old sister remained in D.C. after his mother and both grandparents passed away during his sophomore season at Kansas.The following season Robinson entered the starting lineup after coming off the bench behind future NBA first round picks Marcus and Markieff Morris. He then powered his way into national spotlight, averaging 17.7 points and 11. 9 rebounds. Robinson'sprowess on the glass is an attractive trait for a Wizards team that ranked 26th in defensive rebounding last year. The test of helping his favorite team rebound and rejoin the league's best also plays into whythe 21-year-oldis excited about a potential return to the 202.Its a challenge I want to take on, Robinson said. I think if I want to get to the top of this league, to take on the challenge to come to this team and help them get over the hump, then I definitely would be considered one of those players.Seeing as the Wizards have not won the NBA title since the 1977-78 season, taking the local team to the Promised Land would indeed make the hometown kid one of those elite players. We'rejust over about two weeks from finding if Robinson will get that chance.

Quick Links

Wizards will play against Knicks in London in 2018-19 regular season game

usatsi_10801687.jpg
USA Today Sports Images

Wizards will play against Knicks in London in 2018-19 regular season game

The Wizards will be heading across the pond next year to play a regular season game in London, England against the New York Knicks, the NBA announced on Wednesday.

The game is set for January 17 at the O2 arena in southeast London. It is usually used for concerts, but has become a popular location for NBA international showcase games. Last season, the Sixers and Celtics played there, also in January.

This will be the ninth NBA game played in England and the first for the Wizards. Washington point guard John Wall shared his reaction in the press release.

“It will be an honor to represent the Washington Wizards organization as we play our first game in the UK,” Wall said. “I look forward to connecting with our fans in London and using the experience to further bond as a team.”

The Wizards have several international players on their roster including Marcin Gortat (Poland), Ian Mahinmi (France) and Tomas Satoransky (Czech Republic).

The Wizards last played overseas in 2013 when they had a preseason game in Brazil. This is the first international regular season game in franchise history.

Majority owner Ted Leonsis also reacted to the news via the team's website.

“We are excited about the opportunity to play our first overseas regular season game in London next year,” said Leonsis. “The Wizards have a long tradition of playing international exhibition games and we love the chance to be global ambassadors for the game. We’re looking forward to getting the chance to play in front of fans in the UK.”

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Quick Links

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

usatsi_10685702.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

Wizards 2018 NBA Draft prospect profile: Jerome Robinson

The Washington Wizards hold the 15th and 44th overall picks in the 2018 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects projected to be picked around where the Wizards will select...

2018 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Jerome Robinson

School: Boston College
Position: Shooting guard
Age: 21
Height: 6-5
Weight: 188
Wingspan: 6-7
Max vertical: N/A

2017/18 stats: 20.7 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.3 apg, 0.9 spg, 0.1 bpg, 48.5 FG%, 40.9 3PT% (2.3 3PT/5.7 3PA), 83.0 FT%
Player comparison: Danny Green
Projections: NBC Sports Washington 29th, NBADraft.net 16th, Bleacher Report 19th, Sports Illustrated 17th

5 things to know:

*A three-year player at BC, Robinson developed into a big-time scorer before making the leap to the NBA. He averaged 18.7 points as a sophomore and then 20.7 points as a junior while improving his shooting percentages across the board. He went from 42.3 percent from the field as a sophomore to 48.5 in 2017-18.

*Robinson turned himself into an excellent three-point shooter. After shooting just 33.3 percent as a sophomore, he got that up to 40.9 percent as a junior and on 5.7 attempts per game. That trajectory bodes well for Robinson's chances at the next level.

*He has a quick release on his jumper, giving him the ability to be effective on catch-and-shoot plays off screens. Robinson could develop into a reliable scorer who doesn't need the ball in his hands as a primary focus of the offense. He also showed the ability to throw down some powerful dunks and finish with creativity at the rim. He didn't record a vertical leap at the NBA Combine, but playing above and around the rim didn't appear to be a problem in college.

*Though it didn't show in his last season at Boston College, Robinson was adept at forcing turnovers in his first two years. He averaged 1.6 steals per game across his freshman and sophomore seasons and 16 times in his career had three steals or more in a game.

*Questions for Robinson would include his versatility and speed. Some draft evaluators wonder if he will be able to get separation off the dribble at the NBA level. Also, he put up decent rebounding and assists numbers in college but didn't exactly stand out in either category.

Fit with Wizards: Robinson would give the Wizards depth at the shooting guard position and they need that. He could help Bradley Beal pare down his minutes and offer a scoring punch off the Wizards' bench. The Wizards could use a reliable shooter to help space the floor for Kelly Oubre, Jr. and others in the second unit.

The problems with Robinson's fit would be his lack of positional versatility and what appears to be a relatively low ceiling. He's not the freak athlete that some of his counterparts are at shooting guard. If the Wizards are choosing between Robinson and guys like Zhaire Smith and Lonnie Walker IV, they could view the latter two as more enticing because of their potential. Robinson would represent a safer pick while others could pay off big-time and have a greater impact on the franchise in the long-term.

Best highlight video:

More draft prospect profiles:

Kevin Knox, PF, Kentucky

Miles Bridges, SF, Michigan State

Robert Williams, PF/C, Texas A&M

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, PG, Kentucky

Zhaire Smith, SG, Texas Tech

Landry Shamet, PG/SG, Wichita State

Gary Trent, Jr., SG, Duke

Lonnie Walker IV, SG, Miami

Anfernee Simons, PG/SG, IMG Academy

Khyri Thomas, SG, Creighton

Chandler Hutchison, SG/SF, Boise State

Kevin Huerter, SG, Maryland

Mitchell Robinson, C, Western Kentucky

Troy Brown, SG/SF, Oregon

Donte DiVincenzo, SG, Villanova

Moritz Wagner, PF/C, Michigan

Aaron Holiday, PG, UCLA

Keita Bates-Diop, SF, Ohio State

For more on the NBA Draft, check out our latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast:

NBC Sports Washington is on Apple News. Favorite us!