Robinson has significantly raised his NBA stature in the eyes of general managers around the league.
With the graduation of both Marcus and Markieff Morris to the NBA along with other solid role players and the early exit of Josh Selby, the Kansas Jayhawks lost a considerable amount of talent and depth. Yet KU fans also knew that they had a star in the making in Thomas Robinson. Perhaps no one knew just how good the Kansas forward would end up being. If Robinson comes out for the NBA Draft early and forgoes his senior season, he might just make it to the top two in the draft. That's how some of the chatter is going at this stage of the season.
ESPN's Chad Ford says that he has significantly changed the perception of some scouts this season. Ford interviews one general manager who says:
I've been a skeptic. I've always felt like he was an NBA player. But when you talk about a top pick like that, you are looking for a guy who can turn a franchise around, not an energy guy who may or may not start on a good team. But I'm sold. I didn't think he could handle the double-teams. I didn't think he could handle being the focus point on offense. When I saw him in Maui, I was still hesitant. Now? He's gotten better. He's gotten more disciplined. He's improving skillwise, especially with his footwork in the post. And to me, he's become a true leader. He set the pace against Baylor. He took it right to Jones. He's not afraid. I just don't see how he fails.
While Robinson's size at 6-9, 237 lbs is still an issue for some, it's clear he's at least in the picture. Ford writes, "With that said, a small, informal poll of a half-dozen GMs still had them taking Jones, Barnes or Drummond ahead of Robinson. Concerns about Robinson's height continue to be the main reason given. But all of them now say he's in the mix, and they'd seriously consider him with the No. 2 pick in the draft if they got the pick."