Washington Wizards: 15 greatest draft steals in franchise history
PF, Tennessee State Tigers, 1974 (No. 22)
- Three seasons w/Bullets (1975-77)
- 199 career games w/Bullets
- 10.1 points, 6.2 rebounds per game w/Bullets
Truck Robinson spent 11 seasons in the NBA, playing for five different franchises. While he is best known for his four seasons with the Phoenix Suns, making one of his two career trips to the NBA All-Star Game while in the Valley of the Sun, Robinson got his professional career started in the nation’s capital.
The Bullets used their No. 22 overall pick in the second round of the 1974 NBA Draft to select the power forward out of Tennessee State University in Nashville. Robinson was a technically sound big man, but especially thrived at cleaning the glass.
He averaged 9.4 rebounds per game in his 11-year NBA career, highlight by an All-NBA First Team 1977-78 season as a member of the then-New Orleans Jazz. While Robinson’s career would really unfold after he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks in 1977, he was a strong contributor for the Bullets as a role player in the 199 games he spent in D.C.
As a rookie in 1974-75, the Bullets would make it all the way to the NBA Finals before falling to Rick Barry’s Golden State Warriors. Robinson had to back up future Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame forward Elvin Hayes at the four as a rookie, but quickly carved out a meaningful role with the team in year two.
Robinson averaged double figures in scoring for seven straight seasons from 1975-76 in Washington to 1981-82 while with Phoenix. In total, Robinson averaged 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game in the nearly 200 contests he played for the Bullets before being traded to Atlanta.
Though he didn’t make it a full three years with the team that drafted him, as well as having had his best NBA seasons happen elsewhere, Robinson cracks the top-15 for three reasons: his second-round draft status, his ability to be a high-end role player on a championship-contending team and his trade market value. The first-round pick that came back Washington’s way in the 1977 deal with Atlanta ended up being used on Oregon Ducks small forward Greg Ballard.