Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s disappointing season leaves more questions than answers

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl #50 of the Oklahoma City Thunder bows his head during (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl #50 of the Oklahoma City Thunder bows his head during (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /

The Oklahoma City Thunder selected Jeremiah Robinson-Earl with the 32nd pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, trading up in the second round to do so. The Villanova product had a successful rookie campaign where he showed flashes of a rotational big man averaging seven points, five rebounds, and an assist per game, with shooting splits of 41/35/74 through his 49-game rookie campaign.

Many, including me, expected Robinson-Earl to solidify his role in Mark Daigneault’s rotation in year two. As a rookie, Robinson-Earl turned in 35 percent from the corner and 34 percent on non-corner triples, but those numbers slipped in year two.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s second-year struggles leave more questions than answers about his long-term future with the OKC Thunder.

In year two, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl played six fewer games averaging six points, four rebounds, and an assist per contest. The 22-year-old big man posted 44 percent from the floor and 33 percent from deep while improving his free throw percentage to 83 percent at the charity stripe.

Against Dallas on December 12th, Robinson-Earl left the game after 14 minutes of action due to a nasty ankle sprain. That injury sidelined him until February 13th and included a rehab assignment in the G-League.

Before that injury, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl averaged eight points, five rebounds, an assist, and 1.1 STOCKS (blocks plus steals) per game while shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor (49 percent) and 38 percent from beyond the arc. That was on a 26-game sample size, including 18 starts and 21 minutes per tilt.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is under contract for the 2023-24 season at 1.9 million dollars before a 1.9 million dollar team option is available to trigger for the 2024-25 season. However, Robinson-Earl’s 2023-24 salary is non-guaranteed, giving Sam Presti an out on the second-round big man as soon as this summer.

With roster spots at a premium, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl’s shaky second season did him no favors for his future with the OKC Thunder.

However, before his ankle sprain, he looked the part of a quality role-playing big man. Despite the disappointing second half of his season, we still have a larger sample size of him being a complementary big man than a bad player.

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