Combo forward Stanley Robinson may not be much of a passer (1.0 assists per game as a senior at Connecticut) or shooter (42.7% effective field-goal percentage on jump shots, per Synergy Sports Technology), yet the Orlando Magic feel confident enough about him that they made him the 59th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, despite having offers to trade the pick, according to GM Otis Smith. Projected as a lottery pick during the winter, Robinson's stock steadily dropped, and he nearly went undrafted before Orlando snagged him. Smith feels like Robinson's athleticism could be a real asset.
"Well, he's an athlete," Smith said, when asked what about Robinson impressed him most. "You can't get enough of those guys."
Indeed, the Magic do need an infusion of perimeter athleticism, which Robinson could provide if he makes the squad; second-round contracts are not fully guaranteed. Synergy's data seem to indicate that Robinson made the most of his athletic gifts filling the wings in transition. He shot 33-of-53 from the floor in those situations, and 52-of-73 in all transition situations, last season with the Huskies.
He may ultimately prove more useful on the other end of the court. Athleticism and size made him a defensive ace at Connecticut, particularly in isolation settings, where opponents scored on him just 25.9% of the time and shot 11-of-44 from the floor, including a remarkable 0-of-14 from the right side. He won't do that against NBA-caliber opponents, of course, but it certainly indicates that he has the physical tools and potential to become an above-average wing defender.
Smith didn't have much to say about Robinson last night, as his post-draft availability meandered a bit. We'll get a better idea what the team plans for Robinson when Summer League play begins on July 5th. I believe he could be a difference-maker as a low-usage transition finisher/go-to defender--and if you're reminded of Matt Barnes here, you should be--but I may be wrong.