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Robert Woodard II is an NBA ready role-player

The Sacramento Kings should consider recalling Robert Woodard II to the main roster.

The Sacramento Kings have had a notorious lack of wings who can play defense for years. This is exactly why Harrison Barnes has been so refreshing during his time in Sactown.

Monte McNair seems to have found another player of that archetype in Robert Woodard II. Since the Stockton Kings are not participating in the G-League bubble, the 40th overall selection was assigned to the Austin Spurs.

He was touted as a high-floor player who could fill the typical 3&D role, but his level of athleticism, an impressive understanding of the game on both ends, and incessant energy have been remarkable.

In his first six games with Austin he averaged 15.8 points, 10.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 blocks, and 1.5 steals. Of those rebounds, 4.2 are offensive, the 6th highest total of any player in the bubble which is representative of his often ideal positioning and energy.

There is never a moment that Woodard merely is standing in the corner stagnant on offense. He is an active cutter, screener, a willing shooter from range, and good for at least one putback dunk per game.

His vertical bounce pops off the screen and the Sacramento crowd is sure to be enamored by the flexes and smiles that follow these highlight plays. If NBA rosters are unaware of the regularity that Woodard crashes the boards with, he is certainly going to create second-chance opportunities.

Being active on the offensive glass frequently leads to absence on the following defense possession, (see: Buddy Hield) but Woodard is assured to sprint back and remain impactful.

While his offense has been surprisingly impressive, defense is Woodard's calling card. There are certain players that simply understand the game at a high level and he shares that trait with another Kings rookie. He is rarely in the wrong spot and puts his 7'1" wingspan to good use with proper weakside rotations.

The Sacramento Kings have a major shortage of players that offer rim protection while remaining mobile when pulled out of the paint. Richaun Holmes is the only current member of the roster that qualifies.

Robert Woodard has made game-winning defensive plays on multiple occasions throughout the six games he has played for the Austin Spurs - a difference-maker on that end.

Decisions are lightning quick at the NBA level, and there will be a learning curve for the Mississippi State product but the best way to learn is getting reps.

He's had some struggles containing quicker players on-ball, but effectively lurks off-ball and intelligently rotates. The worst defense of all time would undoubtedly benefit from having Woodard on the floor.

As for the all-important three-point shooting, Woodard has only made them at a 27.8 percent clip so far. The good news is that he's not hesitant to get them up and therefore has a reasonable path to gaining the respect of defenses needed to space the floor. In his latest college season, the 6'7" wing converted 42.9 percent from beyond the arc with a consistent and smooth form.

Robert Woodard gaining minutes would be more beneficial to the Sacramento Kings long-term than Glenn Robinson III. He may even be a more impactful player in his current stage.

Woodard is not likely to develop into a player who creates off the dribble due to a shaky handle and lack of creativity and burst. I'm not sure that posting up smaller players and breaking down unathletic, poor defenders off-the-dribble with a slow and unconvincing move is aiding his long-term development.

He projects as a low-usage offensive player who makes the smart, simple play on that end while making his money on defense. There is an argument to be made that 10 minutes a night in the NBA could be more useful than 30 minutes in the bubble.

The G-League concludes on March 6th, so there is no harm in letting him finish his run there and gain confidence, but he could help the Sacramento roster today.

Jordan Nwora, Malachi Flynn, and Sam Merrill have all been recalled from the bubble to their respective main roster. Malachi Flynn even played in an NBA game the same day after performing for 33 minutes for the Raptors 905.

The Sacramento Kings should consider doing the same with Robert Woodard II.

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Chent
February 21, 2021 8:24 am

Thanks Brenden, he seems like he has a chance to be a 15 minute a game guy. Hopefully he gets som real run when his assignment is over. I would like to see a lineup of Fox, Haliburton, Barnes, Woodard, Bagley get some minutes together.

Kangz_Landing
February 21, 2021 8:43 am

Great write up, definitely agree.

Kings should be playing their best defensive guys regardless of negative on offense. We have enough guys who can get a bucket or think they can get a bucket, so the 4th and 5th guys on the floor should be effort and defense guys.

Other than that, he’s a rookie with tools and we are tanking, development should be a must.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
February 21, 2021 8:56 am

Hell, we could even dig up John Salmons. Anyone is better than starting Cory Joseph on the wing to guard the likes of LaVine. Give Woodard a chance!

kings4ever
February 21, 2021 9:09 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Yes and CoJoSlo was assigned to Jimmy Butler in the previous game, total clownshow!

ForKingsandCountry
February 21, 2021 9:23 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Corey Joseph might currently be the worst player in the NBA getting regular rotation minutes. He has zero redeeming qualities as a player at this point in his career.

kings4ever
February 21, 2021 9:43 am

Facts!

ajon_es
February 21, 2021 9:22 am

Get this man some reps!

kings4ever
February 21, 2021 9:22 am

Brenden, nice analysis but the pertinent issue is is this kid a PF or SF or both? Can he check wings on the perimeter? Can he get through picks with his sturdy physique and team record bench press? That is the pressing concern whether he can find time on the court. I think he is a PF until he proves otherwise.

It would be awesome if Woodward could develop as a versatile wing who can guard two spots, then his potential skyrockets. Unfortunately, I think the agility is lacking.

Marvin is penciled in at the 4. And we like to go small with Barnes at backup PF to close games. So that shrinks the opportunity for Woodward if he is limited to being an interior player. Now if Wooodward can find a way to hold his own on the perimeter and keep him man in front of him, that opens up opportunity for him.

Only 27.8 from 3 points does not bode well either, a carryover from his preseason bricks.

I still have high hopes for this kid, but he needs to show some perimter versatility on both ends or else he is likely a vagabond fringe player.

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
February 21, 2021 9:31 am
Reply to  kings4ever

I’d say he both SF and PF. He’s really just a modern NBA wing that can guard multiple positions. In the film I’ve watched on him I see him as kind of Shane Battier type player. He’s strong, bouncy, and has great instincts on defense. He may not light it up on the offensive end, but potentially could make up for it on the defense end.

kings4ever
February 21, 2021 9:39 am
Reply to  Adamsite

If he can play SF, he’s going to be a great find for us. I await to be impressed and disproven bc I just don’t see the agility for him to hang on the wing.

The wingspan will help, like Brenden said, but you have to be fast twitch quick reaction athlete to play the perimeter. Bigger sized wings like AG Anounoby and Luka use their anticipation to cut off angles and provide respectable resistance, and I havent see this aspect to his game.

When I see Woodward I see a guy that when you “put him on an island” more than 15 feet from the basket, he’s going to get burned. He has probably less agility than Bagley on the perimeter, and that is not a promising prognosis.

I equate versatility with value, synononous terms pretty much, and it remains to be seen how versatile this kid may be.

causalfan
February 21, 2021 9:35 am

I was fooled by the winning streak. First, I was fooled into thinking the team had turned the corner and could be pretty good. Secondly, I was fooled into thinking that Walton guy could coach a little bit. It’s perplexing how the Kings keep getting outworked and physically over matched. 

Adamsite
Nostradumbass 14
Nostradumbass 14
February 21, 2021 9:39 am
Reply to  causalfan

Don’t worry, we’ve all been fooled by the team once, twice, or multiple times over the last 14 years. I’ve been burned so many times that I’m now convinced when this team makes the playoffs again, only about 2 -3 players will remain from this roster.

causalfan
February 21, 2021 9:57 am
Reply to  Adamsite

In the lottery for 14 straight years yet show no signs of progress. No player development, no winning record, not even sniffing the playoffs. The culture here is terrible.

LaBradfordsCreditCard
February 21, 2021 9:13 pm
Reply to  causalfan

That’s because despite having lottery picks every year during that playoff drought (except for 2019, thanks Vlade), only two are still with the team.

When you actually think about that, it’s staggering.

2007 – Hawes
2008 – Thompson
2009 – Tyreke
2010 – Cousins
2011- Jimmer
2012 – Thomas Robinson
2013 – Ben McLemore
2014 – Sauce Castillo
2015 – Willie Completely-Sucks
2016 – Papa G (LOL)
2017 – Fox (still here)
2018 – Bagley (still here, and still not Luka)
2019 – No pick (thanks Vlade)
2020 – Haliburton … technically we haven’t not qualified for playoffs yet but it doesn’t look like we will

To go almost a decade and a half and have three players to show for it is mind-numbing.

ForKingsandCountry
February 21, 2021 10:27 am
Reply to  Adamsite

I’ve been fooled more times than I can count over the last 15 years. We all want this team to be good at some point so when they actually do win some games we want to believe that this horrendous phase of Kings basketball is over. Sadly the waiting continues. But who knows, maybe this time we finally have a competent front office? We’ll see.

GhostMalone
February 21, 2021 10:36 am
Reply to  Adamsite

Still 2 or 3? Don’t worry they’ll find a way to burn you on that expectation

Sacto_J
February 21, 2021 9:42 am

Yeah, but can he play PG? We only play Marvin Bagleys and PGs, now…

TerzoM
February 21, 2021 9:56 am

Soak it in Bob

Happy Dance GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants - Find & Share on GIPHY

RikSmits
February 21, 2021 10:13 am

There is never a moment that Woodard merely is standing in the corner stagnant on offense. He is an active cutter

I’m confident Luke will coach that out of him.

ForKingsandCountry
February 21, 2021 10:29 am
Reply to  RikSmits

You’ve made me laugh twice this morning. Thank you, you beautiful Dutchman.

RikSmits
February 21, 2021 10:46 am

Smugly tousles lush cheesecolored locks.

02kingsfan
February 21, 2021 11:26 am
Reply to  RikSmits

My prediction is Walton will just let him ride the bench so he won’t cut anywhere other than the break room

02kingsfan
February 21, 2021 11:22 am

The real question is: can Walton optimize Woodward? He’s giving Cojo major minutes ahead of Jeffries, Guy, and James even though Cojo is not scoring or defending. With the way Robinson plays, there is no reason Woodward doesn’t get some of that minutes.

eddie41
February 21, 2021 11:25 am

Encouraging news!

Marty
February 21, 2021 11:35 am

I see what you did there.

There is never a moment that Woodard merely is standing in the corner stagnant on offense.

RobHessing
February 21, 2021 12:53 pm

I’m game. I can’t think of anyone on this roster that I’d rather see coming off the bench as a 3-4 than Woodard.

ZillersCat
February 21, 2021 2:06 pm
Reply to  RobHessing

But Xavier Tillman though ..

MillersCornrows
February 21, 2021 1:23 pm

Cool, now we just need an NBA ready coach.

TheOldFalcon
February 21, 2021 2:10 pm

Robert Woodard II, W2 if you will.
Mrs. OldFalcon has been saying that, for this reason, Woodard’s nickname should be “The Tax Man.” Want to score in the paint, there’s a fee to pay; expect some resistance from The Tax Man.

SunBreakTheDawn
February 21, 2021 5:24 pm
Reply to  TheOldFalcon

this is very funny

Hamlet1989
February 21, 2021 2:33 pm

Trade Barnes first! Then bring Woodard up on Tuesday.

ajonez81
February 21, 2021 8:11 pm

Would love to see him get some minutes but Luke Walton is still worried the vets don’t think he’s cool LOL.

LaBradfordsCreditCard
February 21, 2021 9:05 pm

Bring him up and send Pervis down for a while.

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