WASHINGTON -- Albert Einstein and Leonhard Euler became famous for their mathematical formulas. Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard appears to have found one that works for him.
Cap space + castoff from a contender = potential diamond in the rough
That equation has helped transform the Wizards' roster with the acquisitions of Thomas Bryant, Moe Wagner and Isaac Bonga. And now a new candidate has emerged via that path; shooting guard Jerome Robinson whom the Wizards brought in last week in a trade with the L.A. Clippers.
The Clippers chose Robinson with the 13th overall pick just 19 months ago, in the 2018 NBA Draft. It was a loaded draft class, which suggests he could have been picked even higher in an average year.
Robinson, 22, languished in L.A., playing only spot minutes behind a crowded group of wings headlined by Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. But in Washington, the minutes should be there. With the exit of Jordan McRae to Denver, Robinson could be the primary back-up to Bradley Beal.
"Experience, that's what you really learn from," Robinson said. "To grow as a player and a person, I think this is a great step for me right here."
Robinson compared the situation to his choice to play at Boston College. Coming out of high school in 2015, he had offers to play for more successful programs and other teams deep with upperclassmen. But he chose BC for the opportunity to play meaningful minutes right away.
"I went somewhere where I could just fight it out and battle with the best. I felt like the older I got, I had more experience," he said.
Part of that in Washington, Robinson believes, will be through observing Beal. He is going to be the back-up for a two-time All-Star who has now signed two max contract extensions.
Robinson is already getting on Beal's good side. He remarked during his first meeting with the media that he thinks Beal was "snubbed" from the All-Star team.
"He brings it every night and I know he's going to bring it every day at practice as well. Going hard and going back and forth at him, it's just going to make me better. I have no problem with that. It's something to look forward to," Robinson said.
Just like Wagner, the Wizards were high on Robinson in the 2018 predraft process before he was ultimately selected by another team. They brought him in for a workout at their facility and both sides came away impressed and comfortable with the potential fit.
"To be honest, I thought they were going to get me. I didn't know where I was going to get picked. I knew I was in that range, but I had a great meeting with them. It seemed like they really liked me. We had great conversations. My agent told me that they were really high on me," Robinson said.
Robinson ended up being off the board when the Wizards picked at 15. They went with Troy Brown Jr. out of Oregon.
Now, both are on the same team and developing in the same program, as the Wizards continue to collect young players with upside.
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