The Philadelphia 76ers were able to add a few reinforcements at the trade deadline when they acquired Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III from the Golden State Warriors for three future second-round draft pick. Whether or not they help the team dig out of the seemingly year-long funk they’ve been in or not remains to be seen, but even with Philly’s tricky cap sheet, they managed to get a pair of wings who can hit threes at a relatively low price.
The early returns haven’t quite been promising — both Burks and, especially, Robinson have had their ups-and-downs — but this isn’t a huge surprise, because getting traded is really, really hard. It doesn’t help that Robinson has some apparent gripes with his situation in the City of Brotherly Love. Robinson sat down with Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders and expressed some frustrations, namely that he does not believe his role was explained clearly when he joined the Sixers.
“Even when (Golden State) played Philly, I showed them what I could do,” Robinson told Basketball Insiders. “So to play those consistent minutes a night and perform well… that’s the most disappointing part about coming here is that — both of us (are) coming off career years where we’re looking at hopefully big numbers after the season. I know I’ve got a family to feed. So you think about all those things.
“All those things play a role, and then when you come here and your role’s not really explained or you don’t know what’s going on with the trade — it’s not like it was a trade where you come in and immediately have an impact. It’s a little different, so… this team is full of wings, full of guys who can play. So really, I don’t really understand it. But it’s a business, you’ve got to make it happen and go out and try to do your best every night.”
In six games so far with his new squad, Robinson has averaged six points and 1.8 rebounds in 14.5 minutes a night while going 0-for-9 from deep. It’s quite the departure from what he did in the Bay, where he played 31.6 minutes per game, averaged 12.9 points and 4.7 boards, and connected on 40 percent of his triples.
Again, having to go cross-country, suit up for a brand new team, and learn all the intricacies of a new squad on the fly is extremely hard, but Robinson’s comments seem to indicate a much bigger issue than just getting used to life in a new place, especially on a franchise where the expectations were much higher than the ones the Warriors faced this year. Sixers coach Brett Brown was asked about them on Thursday evening prior to the team’s game against the New York Knicks, and after saying he spoke with Robinson about them right before his press conference, he explained that his new player’s comments were not true.
That is not true. With all of our players, you sit down and go through, after All-Star break, every single one of them got a road map, this is your role, this is what we expect, one. Two, I get when you have a career year on a poor team, and it’s a contract year, I understand it, I coached those years myself. In the middle of all of it, he’s good people, he’s a good person, and he’s trying to figure out what his next step is while coexisting in a team framework.
I’ve coached him before. I think he has an important role to play here, we hope to see more of it. But as I said to him, and I’ll say it again, this is a show-me league, and here it is, this is what we expect and hope to see. From time to time, we have seen that, I think he is a league keeper.
With Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons on the sideline for an unknown period of time, perhaps Robinson will get a little more run than he’s received so far and can grow into a role with his new squad. At the very least, Brown’s comments indicate there’s a role for him to play in Philadelphia this season.