Well-traveled Thomas Robinson is on the move again.
The 25-year-old former Kansas power forward, who played for five teams during his first four seasons in the NBA, has signed a contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, general manager Mitch Kupchak announced Wednesday. Terms were not disclosed, though The Vertical reported it is a one-year deal.
That’s now six teams in five seasons for the 6-foot-10, 240-pound native of Washington, D.C., who has played for Sacramento, Houston, Portland, Philadelphia and Brooklyn since leaving KU after his junior season in 2011-12.
Robinson, the No. 5 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, spent the entire 2015-16 season with the Nets, averaging 4.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 12.9 minutes in 71 games (including seven starts).
Never miss a local story.
“I am finally feeling comfortable,” Robinson said during a weekend trip to Lawrence back in June. “I finished the last two months of the season well. That’s 4 1/2 years it took me to get to this point. I’ll keep rolling on in my career now. It took me the long route, but I always get the long route. I’m good now,” he added.
Former KU forward Tarik Black, a 6-9, 250-pound third-year pro, recently signed a two-year, $12,846,325 contract with the Lakers.
The Lakers are expected to start Timofey Mozgov and Julius Randle at center and power forward respectively. Black and Ivica Zubac are listed as possible backups at center; Larry Nance and Yi Jianlian at power forward. The Lakers also have Luol Deng and now Metta World Peace as well as Zach Auguste and Travis Wear on the roster.
“Robinson is a buy-low candidate who has shown flashes since he came into the league, but with so many people ahead of him on the depth chart it’s hard to see him making the team and, by extension, contending for minutes if he does,” writes Anthony Irwin of Silverscreenandroll.com.
Robinson would be happy to play a reserve role.
“I’ve matured so much,” Robinson said in a recent interview with Basketballinsiders.com. “Coming in young, I’ll be honest, I didn’t want to hear, ‘Be a defender! Be a rebounder! That’s all you need to do!’ I’m OK at doing things other than just rebounding and defending, so I didn’t want to just do that.
“But after all of the trades and constantly hearing that, it sold me. I think the biggest sign of my maturity is the fact that I’m not striving for the same things that I was when I came into the league. I’m not trying to put the ball on the floor and score a lot. Being traded that many times, I looked in the mirror and realized I need to stick with what I do best and all of this will go away. If I’m out there averaging 14 rebounds per game, those misconceptions will go away.”
Sherron Collins hasn’t signed yet
Former KU guard Sherron Collins tells The Star he has not yet signed with a team for the upcoming season. The 5-foot-11 point guard played for the Windsor Express in Canada last season.
“I’ve been really working hard,” Collins said in an email message.
The 2016-17 season in Canada does not begin until Dec. 26.
KU to play in Miami, not Portland tourney
On Wednesday, it was announced that Oklahoma and Texas would participate in two eight team tournaments honoring Nike founder Phil Knight, to be held over Thanksgiving week, 2017, in Portland, Ore. That tourney will consist solely of Nike schools.
KU in 2017 will be playing Syracuse in the Hall of Fame Tournament in Miami, Fla. The Jayhawks also will have three home games in that event. The opponents have not yet been announced.
Coaches on road
KU coach Bill Self was slated to have an in-home recruiting visit Wednesday with Jarred Vanderbilt, a 6-8 senior forward from Victory Prep in Houston, who is ranked No. 21 in the recruiting Class of 2017 by Rivals.com.
Self also was to visit Quentin Grimes, a 6-4 junior shooting guard from College Park High in The Woodlands, Texas, ranked No. 40 in the Class of 2018.
On Thursday, 247sports.com says the Jayhawks will visit Romeo Langford, a 6-4 junior shooting guard from New Albany (Ind.) High, who is ranked No. 3 in the Class of 2018 by Rivals.com.