The Los Angeles Lakers have reportedly promised five-star high school prospect Mitchell Robinson a first-round selection ahead of the 2018 NBA Draft, according to Aran Smith or NBADraft.net.
Robinson withdrew from the NBA draft combine on Wednesday.
“Word out of Laker land is that the team is targeting defense with this pick,” the rumored report reads. “The second rumored promise that we have heard coming out of the Chicago predraft camp is that the Lakers have promised Mitchell Robinson, which could explain his decision not to participate in predraft activities.”
What a “promise” basically entails, for those unaware, is a team telling a player they will take them if they’re still available with their pick, essentially guaranteeing them a floor to land on, usually made in exchange for the player not working out for any other teams. However, another team could still take Robinson before the Lakers make their choice at No. 25.
With the draft still a month away, it’s hard to imagine anyone making first-round promises to anyone, especially a player like Robinson who hasn’t been reported to have worked out privately for any teams and didn’t participate in this week’s draft combine.
However, a recent pattern in mock drafts suggest there might be something to this rumor.
In our mock draft roundup earlier this month, four out of the five mocks we looked at had the Lakers taking Robinson with the No. 25 overall pick, including mocks by ESPN, The Ringer, SB Nation and Sports Illustrated. Since then, that number has increased to five of six.
Robinson is one of the bigger question marks in the draft due to the fact that he hasn’t played competitive basketball in over a year. However, if the Lakers’ scouting department sees something in Robinson, there’s a good chance he’s legit. This is the same scouting department that has sniffed out gems like Larry Nance Jr., Jordan Clarkson, Ivica Zubac and most recently Kyle Kuzma and Josh Hart.
We’ll likely find out how much truth there is to this rumor in the coming weeks, but it’s looking like Robinson might be the Lakers’ guy. Maybe. While we wait, here is some video of him working out.