Underrated Rookie: Thunder’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is Already Making NBA Impact – Sports Illustrated - Techy Hunters


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Underrated Rookie: Thunder’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is Already Making NBA Impact – Sports Illustrated

Every season, there’s a handful of second-round draft picks that make a real impact as a rookie. While history tells us that most of the top players in the NBA are selected in the first round, second rounders can often become quality role players. 

Taken No. 32 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, Thunder forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has already established himself as one of the most impactful rookies in the league. 

One of the smartest players in his class, Robinson-Earl is a mature player that rarely makes mistakes. Additionally, he understands his role and doesn’t try to play outside of himself. This has earned him a real spot in the OKC rotation early in his NBA career. 

Just eight games into his rookie season, Robinson-Earl has notched three starts. When he doesn’t start, he’s often one of the first forwards off the bench for the Thunder, ultimately averaging 16.6 minutes per game. 

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As a role player for this team, he’s produced 5.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 40.0% from deep on 1.9 attempts per contest. While most rookies try doing too much early in their careers, Robinson-Earl does whatever the team needs him to do in order to be successful.

This is why he projects to be an extremely valuable role player on the Thunder when they’re back to being a contender down the road. Robinson-Earl will likely never make an NBA All-Star team, but could establish himself as a great individual contributor towards winning.

Among rookies that have played in more than three games and average more than five minutes per game, Robinson-Earl is fourth in field goal percentage and sixth in 3-point percentage. Additionally, among all rookies, he’s top-20 in both points and minutes per contest. JRE is also tenth in the NBA in rebounds per game.

This is a positive sign for the Thunder front office, who may have found a second-round steal in Robinson-Earl. As they continue to draft players going forward, hitting on as many picks as possible will be key in expediting their rebuild.

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