When guard Glenn Robinson III takes the court for the Philadelphia 76ers he will be the 25th player this season to do so. That would be a franchise record and a clear indicator that the Hinkie Plan is still a work in progress as he and Brett Brown are not finished looking for those special players that will make up the Sixers roster of the future.
And if Robinson plays his cards right, there is no reason he couldn’t be one of those select few.
A 6’7” shooting guard out of Michigan, Robinson was picked up off waivers by the Sixers last Thursday after the Minnesota Timberwolves gave him his walking papers. Robinson played in just 25 games for the Timberwolves where he averaged 1.2 points, 0.1 assists and 0.6 rebounds in 4.3 minutes. He was taken 40th overall in 2014 and did workout for the Sixers before the NBA Draft, a workout both Sam Hinkie and Brown remember.
It’s why Brown seemed unusually excited about the arrival of Robinson, telling Max Rappaport of Sixers.com
“[I’m] excited to have him. We liked him and paid attention to him a lot in the draft. Part of the plan is identifying young people who can be keepers. He ticks a lot boxes, to it kind of being a no brainer on why we would be interested in him.”
Of course, Robinson’s dad is “Big Dog” Glenn Robinson, who played for both the San Antonio Spurs as well as the Sixers over the course of his 11-year career.
Given the Sixers depth at the wing, Brown is in the unusual situation that he doesn’t have to start Robinson right away like he was forced to with Isaiah Canaan. He is able to work with him and get him acclimated to the run-and-gun offense the Sixers use. That and Robinson’s natural potential might be enough that if he performs like he did while at Michigan, where he averaged 13.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 32.3 minutes per game, he could find a permanent home in Philadelphia.
Like the departed K.J. McDaniels, Robinson also signed a one-year contract that makes him a restricted free agent at the end of the season. While in McDaniels case it paid off (until he was sent to the Houston Rockets where he has seem his playing time dramatically reduced), for Robinson it was a bust as he just couldn’t seem to get regular minutes despite the team still being fairly awful. The Sixers have 19 games remaining in Tank 2.0 and there should be ample chances for Robinson to get some serious minutes in that stretch and show what he can do.
For his part, Robinson seems ready for the challenge and is excited for what’s to come, telling Max Rappaport after one of his first practices with the team
“This is a young team, looking to run, looking for layups and threes and fouls. Those are things we really went over today and really were installed in my mind. And I love the fast-tempo game. It’s similar to what I did in college, getting spot-up threes and get-to-the-basket cuts.”
Robinson III joins Canaan, Ish Smith and Thomas Robinson as the new face of a Sixers roster that saw massive upheaval (again) at the trade deadline. Will any of them be around next season as Joel Embiid and another first-round pick take the court? It’s tough to say. But of the four, my money would be on Glenn Robinson III.