Which Team Will Claim NBA Veteran Nate Robinson?
The NBA D-League has often been a place for former NBA veterans to attempt a comeback to the Association. Last season the big name was Baron Davis. After being acquired from the available player pool, Davis appeared in six games with the Delaware 87ers, averaging 12.8 points on 35.5 FG%.
This season, former Chicago Bulls star Ben Gordon signed a D-League contract and was claimed off waivers by the Texas Legends just weeks ago. Now another NBA veteran is throwing their name into the D-League circle in hopes of an NBA comeback.
Former New York Knicks point guard Nate Robinson is expected to sign a D-League contract per Shams Charania of The Vertical. Robinson, 32, has appeared in 618 regular season games for eight different teams over the last decade. The three-time Slam Dunk Champion has career averages of 11 points on 42% from the field.
D-League teams have different priorities at this point in the season. Some are looking to push towards the playoffs, while others are looking for a fresh start with new talent. With that in mind, which teams may look to claim Robinson off waivers?
The Legends don’t shy away from claiming players with previous NBA experience. Just look at their current roster, and you’ll see a number of players who fit that bill. Manny Harris, DeJuan Blair, Ben Gordon, Pierre Jackson and Andre Dawkins all have some level of NBA experience. Quincy Acy, who recently signed with the Nets on a long-term deal, was also a member of the Legends this season before earning his own call-up.
Texas was also home to Tony Wroten, who was recently waived this past week. Given their propensity to acquire NBA talent, it only seems appropriate Robinson would find his way to the Legends this season. Texas is also near the top of the waiver order after receiving waiver priority for the Pierre Jackson call-up earlier this season (a D-League team receives waiver priority once a player appears on an NBA roster for 21 consecutive days). They currently sit at third overall behind the Oklahoma City Blue (waiver priority from the Reggie Williams call-up), and the Erie BayHawks (waiver priority from Anthony Brown call-up).
Texas is known for its high velocity, uptempo style courtesy of head coach Bob MacKinnon, and it’s no secret Robinson could be that spark plug for this team if need be.
Grand Rapids Drive
The affiliate of the Detroit Pistons are preparing to lose a major piece of their offense as Ray McCallum is set to sign a 10-day contract with the Charlotte Hornets per Shams Charania of The Vertical. McCallum has been at or near the top of our player rankings this season.
Clearly, Robinson is not the same player as McCallum, but they will have big shoes to fill at the point guard spot once McCallum heads to Charlotte and Robinson could fit right into their uptempo style. Also, it would be interesting to see Robinson and Jordan Crawford on the same team.
The other option for Grand Rapids would have them slide Crawford over to the point guard slot and run the offense, given he has experience at that position. He’s been averaging just shy of 30 minutes per contest off the bench for the Drive. Expect him to move into the starting rotation and play 36-plus minutes in the interim while McCallum is gone.
Sioux Falls Skyforce
This might be a long shot given the Skyforce sit seventh overall on the waiver order. Sioux Falls, however, has lost five in a row now and have been shorthanded most of the season due to various injuries while also reeling from the recent call-up of Okaro White to the Miami Heat. (Note, the Heat are 9-0 since they called White up from the Skyforce, coincidence?).
The team doesn’t have major issues at the point guard spot, given Briante Weber helps facilitate the offense on most possessions, but just adding a quality body to the roster might help their depth and give them an extra body to run on the floor for extended lengths so the team isn’t suiting up only eight players a given night.
Obviously, with any move like this, there are chemistry concerns and whether a new player will adapt to those around him. This isn’t to say that Robinson is incapable of being a quality veteran to this team, but the Skyforce haven’t made a roster move yet and have been placated with the recent emergence of Patrick Miller since the D-League Showcase.
Robinson would be an asset for the Skyforce to consider, but he’ll likely be claimed before they even have a chance to claim him (if they even are willing to do so).