For three seasons in Boulder Andre Roberson did nothing but grab rebounds and defend. Thursday night, the talents he’s been showing off at the Coors Event Center went recognized as first round worthy. The 6’7” athlete was picked twenty-sixth and will suit up for the Oklahoma City Thunder this upcoming season. He was the third Pac-12 player selected in the first round.
NOTE: I’M NOT ENTIRELY SURE AND NOT BOTHERING TO GOOGLE WHETHER OR NOT “THUNDER UP” IS AN ACTUAL OKC PHRASE. OK, TURNS OUT IT IS BECAUSE I DID GOOGLE IT AND THE FIRST SEARCH RESULT IS THIER NBA SITE.
For Roberson, the pick has to come as somewhat of a surprise as many draft boards did not include the CU departed.
For Colorado fans, the pick may come as no surprise considering they watched the young man lock up each of the Pac’s other draftees. Which is exactly the versatile and dynamic talent that NBA teams – particularly ones set in their scoring – need in order to succeed.
One needs to look no further than the success of Kawhi Leonard who found his way into the Spurs’ lineup by defending and boarding (Roberson qualities), while letting the offense come to him as it may.
Alas, this helter-skelter draft is full of “the next Kawhis” but as it were, it seems Andre has a very good shot at legitimately becoming such. The Thunder clearly have a scoring nucleus and could greatly benefit from the defensive versatility Roberson could provide. What’s more: HOLY-BIG-LENGTHY-ATHLETIC-LINEUP, BATMAN! I mean seriously, imagine a lineup of Westbrook, Martin, Roberson, Durant, and Ibaka. Sounds like a dunk contest.
I’ve long been a Roberson fan and I’ll continue to be as he heads to Chesapeake Energy.
In a draft lacking star power, value is to be sought. And as we often think of value as bang-for-our-buck, GMs will need to deeply examine their needs and pick accordingly. Selecting talent for the sake of talent is not an option this year.
Andre Roberson, Colorado’s versatile forward and only player in school history with a whole lot of every type of stat, would seem to be the type of talent to do exactly that.
He declared late in the declaration process and I discussed that and other components of Dre’s draft prospects over at AllBuffs. You can read that article here.
He’s the quintessential glue guy and might actually have the best long-term prospects amongst any of the similarly sized and skilled Pac-12 players in this year’s draft. The defensive side is not in question and the versatility he offers there will get him on the floor. It will then boil down to whether or not he can develop a consistent jumper. He can get is garbage buckets (BIRDMANBIRDMAN) but to get regular tick and a lucrative contract, he’s going to have to hit the corner three.
He’ll need to bulk up a touch as well, it’s a physical damn league.
This is the first in some sporadic draft coverage I’m doing across a few different platforms. I’ll post to the others as they come up on The Pac-12 Post and PacificTakes.
And, as I mentioned, there are a lot of like-sized players amongst this Pac-12 class of possible draftees and so I apologize in advance for any and all Kawhi Leonard references. He’s just now become the easiest damn comparison for the exact type of player who boards and plays defense and learns to shoot and goes straight to becoming Bruce Bowen before ever thinking they could ever be MJ.
Oh, and bear in mind that Kawhi Leonard didn’t have an offer from either USC or UCLA. He’s a Riverside native.
OK OK! That was a cheap shot considering the entire 2009 class projected to be Leonard-types with Moser, Honeycutt, and Nelson on-boarding and all of whom projected as better prospects in HS. But it’s still interesting to play the look-what-you-missed game.