3 Players on the hot seat following the 2023 Draft for the OKC Thunder

Head coach Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images)
Head coach Mark Daigneault of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Ian Maule/Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl #50 of the Oklahoma City Thunder (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl

Another big man who has suffered injuries in the past season, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has also fallen out of head coach Mark Daigneualt’s rotation. Robinson-Earl showed promise in his first and second year, often inserted as the starting center for the small-ball Thunder, which was more of a by-product of roster misfortunes than of deliberate approach.

Handicapped by numerous injuries and a physical frame that resembled more of a forward than a center, Robinson-Earl has missed games and lost rotational minutes to the likes of Jalen Williams, Jaylin Williams, Kenrich Williams, Dario Saric, and even Olivier Sarr.

His switchability on defense — a valuable asset for any big in the league — was Robinson-Earl’s main point of contention. At about six-foot-nine, Robinson-Earl has shown that he can switch on smaller guards such as Luka Doncic and James Harden, to name a few. The highest point of his career came when he locked he once locked down Harden in Brooklyn in 2021, raising hopes of his versatility and value for the Thunder.

Since then, Robinson-Earl’s mystique has fizzled out. His game has been on a rapid decline this season, shooting career lows on the floor, and racking up DNP-CDs along the way. His minutes have also dipped from about 23 per game to just under 19 — a huge indicator of the coach’s trust in him.

Robinson-Earl’s contract is a non-guaranteed one for the incoming season, but a decision has to be made by the end of the week on that front. While he would be a good trade asset for the future, Robinson-Earl’s salary could be a fairly easy dump for the team. There is also a chance Jeremiah Robinson-Earl has a breakout third season as his second year was derailed by injuries.