The Virginia Tech basketball program has the potential to have multiple players selected in the NBA Draft for the first time since 1986 (when the draft was more than 2 rounds) with Nickeil Alexander-Walker poised to be the Hokies’ first 1st round pick since that draft.
Justin Robinson, the Hokies’ all-time assist leader, also has a realistic chance to be selected tonight though it appears that if he is, he won’t be selected till the latter half of the second round.
So where could Robinson end up? Here are a few potential landing spots.
Golden State Warriors (#58)
Golden State has used the second round to add quality pieces to their bench including Jordan Bell and Patrick McCaw. After buying an additional second round pick from Atlanta, the Warriors appear poised to used the draft to add quality pieces that can immediately contribute off their bench with Justin Robinson profiling as that type of player.
The Warriors enter the offseason with some questions about the depth they have at point guard with Quinn Cook being an unrestricted free agent (and likely to receive a contract Golden State can’t match) and Shaun Livingston considering retirement. Given the success of Cook, someone who was a veteran college point guard with lots of high-level experience at Duke, the Warriors may look to follow that model to start trying to replenishing their point guard depth with Robinson being as good of an option as any late in the second round.
One of the things that the Warriors became known for in their rise to the top was their ball movement that accentuated their impressive three-point shooting that has revolutionized the sport. Robinson is a great ball distributor who ran offenses that were impacted by the Warriors’ influence on the sport and would appear to fit well in what Golden State would want from their backup point guards.
Los Angeles Lakers
So the Lakers don’t have a pick at the moment, but reports have emerged that the Lakers are looking to buy second round picks knowing they can save cap space after trading away other backups while also needing creative ways to add depth to their roster given their potential pursuit of a third max player (should they get the cap space). Given their likely priority on players who can immediately play off the bench, someone like Robinson could fit quite well as a backup point guard for the Lakers.
Part of what Los Angeles will want are guys who will be great to have in the locker room along with having high basketball IQs, two things that define Justin Robinson. Combine that with Robinson being a more than capable ball distributor along with a great motor and he’s the type of bench players that the Lakers would love to have on a team that is clearly being built to be a title contender next year.
Of course, a lot of this depends on not only if the Lakers are successful at buying a second round pick but also where that second round pick comes. If (one of) the pick(s) ends up in the final third of the second round, keep an eye out on Robinson as a possibility to land with the Lakers.
Philadelphia 76ers (#54)
Backup point guard is a potential late round need for the Philadelphia 76ers with TJ McConnell being a free agent and Shake Milton profiling as more of a combo guard than a true point guard. Given the priority Philadelphia will likely put on trying to keep Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 76ers pursue a veteran point guard late in the draft with Robinson being a potential fit.
The 76ers relied on McConnell to provide 20ish minutes a game as one of their top backups and though Robinson may not be ready to be a 20 minute per game player as a rookie, the Hokies’ all-time assist leader has the skill to break into the rotation and provide some quality minutes off the bench with the potential to be a McConnell-like surprise by the end of the regular season.
One thing that may make Robinson not the best fit is the fact that he has never been known as a great shooter and relies heavily on driving to the hoop on the offensive end. While he had the benefit of plenty of quality shooters to stretch the floor at Virginia Tech, the 76ers have lots of outside shooting question marks especially with their best shooter JJ Redick being a free agent.
Philadelphia may look for a potential backup point guard given the great possibility of TJ McConnell leaving for a larger contract elsewhere, and Justin Robinson might just be the answer to give the 76ers some point guard depth before the start of free agency.