Some NBA teams eye Devin Robinson as a 2nd-round pick

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Devin Robinson
Florida junior forward Devin Robinson (1) had his best season last year, averaging 11.1 points per contest while hitting shots at a career-high 39.1 percent clip from beyond the arc.

After helping fuel Florida’s Elite Eight run with a pair of breakout performances in the NCAA Tournament, forward Devin Robinson opted to skip his senior season and turn pro.

Tonight, the 6-foot-8 Robinson will find out if he’s one of 60 names called at the NBA draft in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Once projected as an early second-round draft pick, Robinson’s stock has slipped in recent weeks. The website Draftexpress predicts Robinson to go 51st overall to the Denver Nuggets, late in the second round. Bleacher Report has Robinson going 52nd overall to the Washington Wizards in its mock draft.

Two NBA scouts, speaking on the condition of anonymity, projected Robinson as a mid-to-late second-round pick. One scout said there’s a chance Robinson could go undrafted.

“I check the mock drafts,” Robinson said following a recent workout with the Los Angeles Lakers. “Some have me going in the first round, some have me going in the second round, some have me going undrafted. I just use that as motivation. I’ve been proving people wrong my whole life.”

Robinson, 22, averaged 11.1 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Gators before deciding to go pro in April. He matched his career-high with 24 points in UF’s 80-65 opening NCAA Tournament win against East Tennessee State, then posted a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) in UF’s 65-39 Round of 32 win against Virginia.

At the NBA level, Robinson projects as a “3-and-D” player capable of knocking down shots from the perimeter and guarding NBA wings. Robinson’s 3-point shooting percentage improved from 25.6 percent in his freshman year to 39.1 percent as a junior.

Though consistency was an issue for Robinson in his college career, NBA teams are enamored with his athleticism. At last month’s NBA draft combine, Robinson posted the third best vertical leap among prospects at 41.5 inches and weighed in at 190 pounds with 3.2 percent body fat

“If you want a winner then you should draft me,” Robinson said during the combine. “I care all about winning, I care about my teammates, I’m a great team player and I’m going to work hard. I’m a sponge. I don’t act like I know everything because I don’t. I’m still learning the game. I just want to be the best player I can be.’”

Robinson is among a handful of former UF players hoping to get drafted, a list that includes forward Canyon Barry, forward Justin Leon and guard Kasey Hill.

Barry, the son of Basketball Hall of Famer Rick Barry, has had workouts with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks. Hill also has worked out for the Knicks, while Leon had a recent workout with the Boston Celtics.

Florida has not had a player selected in the NBA draft since forward Erik Murphy was taken in the second round as the 49th pick overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2013. The last Gator to be picked in the first round was Bradley Beal, who went third overall to the Washington Wizards in the 2012 draft and helped lead the Wizards to the second round of the NBA playoffs this past season.

Florida has had 35 players picked in the NBA draft in school history. Since 2000, the Gators have had eight players picked in the first round and eight more picked in the second round.

Contact Kevin Brockway at 352-374-5054 or kevin.brockway@gvillesun.com. Also check out Brockway’s blog at Gatorsports.com.