NBA Draft 2021 Profile: Can Jeremiah Robinson-Earl add to Nuggets’ frontcourt depth?
The Nuggets have one of the deepest frontcourts in the NBA, so it is not a surprise that they haven’t been linked with many big men in this year’s draft. Still, the team has typically picked the best prospect available when it has made selections. Then there is also the pending free agency of Paul Millsap and JaVale McGee and JaMychal Green’s player option this offseason. All of those factors could play a role in potentially selecting a big man in the upcoming draft.
One frontcourt standout who has seen his name attached to the Nuggets in mock drafts is Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. The two-year Villanova star is a polished low post scorer and an effective rebounder.
Here is an in-depth look at Robinson-Earl:
Weight: 230 pounds
Robinson-Earl is a throwback big man, with strong footwork in the low post and a penchant for doing the dirty work when needed. His high basketball IQ is a big reason why he was named the Big East Co-Player of the Year last season. Still, questions remain on if his skill set can translate into the modern NBA.
Robinson-Earl isn’t the most athletic big in the draft and his three-point percentage dipped from his freshman year (32 percent) to his sophomore campaign (28 percent). In a league that craves frontcourt players who can stretch the floor, Robinson-Earl will need to work on that area of his game if he is going to develop into a rotation player.
However, teams will likely be encouraged by Robinson-Earl’s growth as a scorer in his sophomore season. His scoring went up from 10.5 points per game to 15.7. He also raised his overall shooting percentage from 45.4 to 49.7, despite taking more shots. Robinson-Earl added a deadly mid-range shot to his already impressive low post arsenal and that was the foundation of his spike in production. He is also a decent passer for his position.
Teams will also be impressed with Robinson-Earl’s defensive instincts. He isn’t a natural shot-blocker (averaging 0.6 blocks at Villanova), but he has strong positional awareness. It wasn’t uncommon to see Jay Wright task him with guarding smaller players.
If the Nuggets were to select Robinson-Earl, he could spend his first year with the team learning from some of the team’s uniquely skilled frontcourt players – ranging from Nikola Jokić to Aaron Gordon. With a focus on improving his long-range shot, Robinson-Earl could be an interesting addition to Michael Malone's team.
What they’re saying:
Solid basketball IQ and is a willing passer. Good court vision and makes the right pass, always knows where his teammates are. Knows where he’s passing before he catches the ball … Good defensive versatility, guards multiple positions. Picks up ball handlers away from the basket, also defends the post.
He’s not much of a rim protector but he plays with excellent positioning. It remains to be seen if he can develop as an interior defender. He measured at 6-9 in shoes and he’s not a big wingspan guy with a 6-9 3/4 wingspan.