The Los Angeles Lakers have been tied to prospect Mitchell Robinson several times throughout the lead-up process to the 2018 NBA Draft, and it happened again Wednesday.
First, there were reports that the Lakers had promised Robinson that they would select him in the draft, rumors that were only fueled when Robinson liked a few tweets suggesting that the Lakers should take him.
Soon there was a damper put on that though, after a report came out saying that the rumors that the Lakers had promised Robinson were “not fact based,” which seemed to nip his candidacy in the bud a bit.
However, not promising Robinson is not the same thing as not wanting to select him, and it appears the Lakers might still be interested in doing the latter, at least according to Adam Zagoria of the New York Times:
The Lakers are seriously considering taking Mitchell Robinson at 25, per League source. https://t.co/8Cfl24JheN— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) May 30, 2018
Their interest is also understandable for a player like Robinson, who appears like he could be a prototypical big for the modern game, boasting a combination of size, athleticism and shooting skills that is unicorn-esque, something Mike Schmitz of ESPN offered a reminder of on Wednesday night:
Mitchell Robinson showed off some touch from 3 tonight. Definitely has skill potential to tap into. Will benefit from focusing on being a dominant shot blocker, rim runner, lob catcher, and rebounder first then build out the rest of his offensive game. pic.twitter.com/uLcG9ebbxj— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) May 31, 2018
But while those types of skills would make Robinson exactly the type of big every team covets, they would also make him likely to get drafted a whole lot higher than where the Lakers are picking in the first round (No. 25).
Given that Robinson sat out the last year of basketball — meaning teams haven’t seen him in an organized setting since high school — there is a chance he falls that far, but if he looks like he can live up to his full potential in workouts like the one above, whether or not the rumors about the Lakers’ interest in Robinson are true may be a moot point, because they might never have a chance to get him in the first place.
All stats per sports-reference.com. A full list of every prospect we know the Lakers have worked out is available here. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen, or support his work via Venmo here or Patreon here.