TUALATIN -- Nobody was dreading this Feb. 20 trade deadline more than Thomas Robinson of the Portland Trail Blazers. He went as far as to say he hates this time of year.
It’s well documented that the No. 5 pick in the 2012 NBA Draft out of the University of Kansas is on his third team in two years. He wasn’t looking forward to making it four teams in two years.
There weren’t any Trail Blazer trade rumors circulating for weeks. Yet, today, the day of the trade deadline, Robinson still decided to arrive at the team’s practice facility a little earlier than usual. Not to get some extra shots up, but to make sure he was allowed in the building.
“I was sweating like [expletive],” Robinson told CSNNW.com after practice Thursday afternoon. “I made sure I got to this [expletive] early. So as long as they let me in, I’m good. I don’t want to downplay the situation but it’s just the situation that I’m in now. So I’m happy to know that I’m going to finish the year out here. It’s something that I’ve been looking for since I got into the league -- just stability.”
His relief is understandable, considering what he has already gone through during his brief professional career. He tried not to pay attention to the trades that were going down today; concerned he would hear his name in the mix.
In case he was being discussed in potential deals, he informed his agent to keep him out of the loop until it was very necessary.
“I don’t want to know anything. I just want to know where I got to go and when I got to be there,” he said. “I don’t want to hear none of the details, none of that. Just let me know when I got to leave.”
Robinson, 22, has had his ups and downs this season. One moment he’s in the rotation and the next he’s gathering multiple DNPs. Prior to this season, the organization picked up the third year of his rookie contract, a sign they’re dedicated to the growth of him as a player and person.
“No matter who you are or what you do, you want to be stable,” Robinson said. “No matter how much money you make, you don’t want to keep bouncing around everywhere. The money and stuff really doesn’t matter to me. I just want to be at one place where I’m comfortable and I can’t get comfortable moving every two months.”
The only moving Robinson will be doing is on the basketball court with LaMarcus Aldridge (groin) out for at least a week, Joel Freeland (MCL sprain) out for up to two months and Meyers Leonard (ankle) down a couple of weeks.
In 22 minutes in an 111-109 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night, Robinson provided 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench. The play of the second year forward will be vital if the team is to have some success during this tough stretch.
“I think with that time, I can perform and produce those numbers,” he said. “It’s just about building on it. That’s my role for now, but not sure what’s going to happen once things get back to normal. But for now, it’s about being comfortable with those minutes and producing.”
As for the trade deadline, let’s just say he’s relieved it has passed.
“I’m glad that [expletive] is over," he reiterated.