Anyone who knows anything about Thomas Robinson knows how ready he is to be an NBA player. He's carried himself like a professional for some time now and he'll finally get his opportunity to be one with the Sacramento Kings, who selected him with No. 5 overall pick in Thursday night's NBA Draft.
Our NBA voices at SB Nation have spoken, so read below the jump for thoughts from Andrew Sharp and Tom Ziller on the pick.
This, from Sharp:
So, it's hard to get upset about taking Thomas Robinson. He's as NBA-ready as anyone in the draft, he's tough, and next to DeMarcus Cousins he gives the Kings a frontline that they can count on for the next decade or so. But Harrison Barnes would have more sense--you can find lots of blue collar power forwards, but it's harder to find a third option as talented as Barnes. He's not good enough to be a superstar on his own, but wedged between Tyreke and DMC, Barnes would have been perfect. Still, Robinson's a solid building block for Sacramento, and even if the Maloofs got cheap and sold a second round pick that could have been Kim English or Quincy Miller (either of whom might have been a solution at the 2/3) ... remember last year? When Sacramento engineered that completely indefensible trade to draft Jimmer in the lottery? Things could be a lot worse than drafting a forward you can pencil into the starting lineup for the next 10 years.
NBA editor and Kings' fan Tom Ziller:
Seeing Robinson drop into their laps because of the Dion Waiters Experience was something like magic for the Kings. It wasn't quite DeMarcus Cousins in 2010 magic, but it could end up that way if ThRob hits all of his potential. It was a smart, solid pick by Geoff Petrie, who could have opted to stretch his legs out and fill the small forward hole with Harrison Barnes. Instead, he took the more inspiring, tough player, one who will make a nasty little tandem with DeMarcus Cousins.
Then the Kings did what the Kings do: they sold a valuable high second-round pick for cash. As I wrote last night, you only sell good second-round picks if you're at roster capacity (the Kings aren't) or bumping up against the luxury tax (not remotely close). Second-round picks don't require guaranteed contracts and don't carry cap holds. It's ridiculous for a bad, cheap team to sell the No. 36 pick when plenty of promising prospects were available. The Kings should know better, having picked up Isaiah Thomas (an All-Rookie team honoree) at No. 60 last year. For a team that needs everything to go right to compete, you can't start cutting off your own limbs for firewood.