It’s been a busy Wednesday afternoon for the Los Angeles Lakers, as mere minutes after agreeing to re-sign Metta World Peace, they added Thomas Robinson to their ever-expanding list of training camp invites. The criticism with World Peace was that he doesn’t offer much ceiling to a roster teeming with potential, so at least Robinson offers a little more in that respect.
Still, the issue here is Robinson brings the Lakers’ total of power forwards to roughly 37* by my unofficial count, which makes figuring out how Luke Walton might deal out the minutes at that spot.
(*: The actual number is right around five or six, depending on who slides up and down the position seat based on the lineup Walton chooses at any particular time.)
Robinson is a very good rebounder and absolute bully down low, but it is pretty hard to see him getting minutes unless he can step up as a small ball five.
Vertical Sources: Free agent Thomas Robinson agrees on one-year deal with the Los Angeles Lakers. https://t.co/F4ju5zFvhY— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 21, 2016
While I was being facetious earlier about the number of power forwards the Lakers will employ after this signing, this does bring the roster total to 20, with contention throughout that group to make the team. On one hand, competition can be great, as it will force guys to really push themselves if they want to stick around. On the other, when it comes to actual livelihoods on the line, that competition can bring out the worst in some people. It will be up to Walton to set a productively competitive tone so as to avoid the latter situation laid out.
Robinson is a buy-low candidate who has shown flashes since he came into the league, but with so many people ahead of him on the depth chart it’s hard to see him making the team and, by extension, contending for minutes if he does.