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Thomas Robinson wants to stay with the Lakers in free agency

Does the team feel the same way?

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Between the weather, proximity to the beach and countless more benefits, there aren’t a whole lot of people who wouldn’t want to live in Los Angeles. That goes double if one is young and rich, two boxes former lottery pick and current Los Angeles Lakers reserve forward Thomas Robinson ticks.

Between those reasons, happiness with the coaching staff and finding some stability after a career that’s seen him suit up for six teams by the end of his fifth NBA season, it’s understandable Robinson would want to stick around.

He confirmed as much to Mark Medina of the Orange County Register, saying he would “do anything possible [he] can to stay a Laker” this summer.

“I’m trying to build my family here,” Robinson told Medina. “I would love to be here for a few years. Just be somewhere for a while.”

The real question is whether or no the feeling is mutual. Robinson has played in 40 games for the Lakers, averaging 4.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 10.5 minutes per appearance while mostly serving as a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency option for head coach Luke Walton.

But while the Lakers might be happy with the way Robinson hustles when he makes it into games, to paraphrase John Wooden, they shouldn’t mistake activity for achievement. The Lakers have been outscored by 12.2 points per 100 possession when Robinson plays, the fourth-worst rate of any Laker to suit up this year.

Maybe some of that is small-sample size, but even if the front office thinks Robinson is good, the reality is there just aren’t a lot of minutes for him in a crowded Lakers frontcourt as currently constructed. Even if the Lakers move on from Tarik Black, it’s unlikely Robinson will play in front of Timofey Mozgov next season, and he won’t and shouldn’t steal minutes from Ivica Zubac.

If the Lakers for some reason want to play him at power forward, he’d be stealing minutes from Larry Nance, Jr. and Julius Randle, without mentioning that Luol Deng is basically a four at this point as well.

It’s possible to see Robinson continuing on in his fire extinguisher role, but the team is also probably better served looking at other, lesser known quantities with one of their final roster spots next season.

All stats per and Harrison Faigen is co-host of the Locked on Lakers podcast (subscribe here), and you can follow him on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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