Glenn Robinson III Deserves Consideration For A Spot In Indiana's Rotation

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The Indiana Pacers received a very pleasant surprise during their 2015-16 preseason campaign, Glenn Robinson III. The expectations for this upcoming season for Robinson were originally low, and rightfully so considering the fact that he was viewed as a developmental signing for the future.

Robinson's performance during the preseason and in practice has made it clear that he deserves to be in the conversation for a spot in the rotation. Robinson has displayed that he has what it takes to contribute on both sides of the floor with this team. Robinson's best hope for a spot in the rotation would be in the Pacers' small-ball rotation at the small forward position. 

Before looking in depth at position battles, it is important to understand the overall landscape of the team's depth chart. Indiana has two rotations; one for small ball, and one traditional lineup. It sounds like the Pacers want to matchup with their rotations, head coach Frank Vogel sounded very pleased with the team's abilities playing both big and small. 

Indiana Pacers projected small ball rotation:

PG: George Hill, Joseph Young
SG: Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey, Glenn Robinson III
SF: C.J. Miles, Chase Budinger, Solomon Hill
PF: Paul George, Jordan Hill, Lavoy Allen, Shayne Whittington
C: Ian Mahinmi, Myles Turner, Rakeem Christmas

Indiana Pacers projected traditional rotation:

PG: George Hill, Joseph Young
SG: Monta Ellis, Rodney Stuckey, Glenn Robinson III
SF: Paul George, C.J. Miles, Chase Budinger, Solomon Hill
PF: Jordan Hill, Lavoy Allen, Shayne Whittington
C: Ian Mahinmi, Myles Turner, Rakeem Christmas

Frank Vogel has stated that he would like to use a 10-man rotation during the regular season. With that being said, it is projected that Glenn Robinson won't make the rotation in the traditional rotation, or even in the small ball rotation. But the question becomes, is Glenn Robinson a better fit for the small ball lineup than Chase Budinger?

It appears that the answer to that question is yes. Chase Budinger has an inconsistent jump shot from midrange and the perimeter, but he is capable of attacking the basket and being effective without the ball. That is valuable, but the Pacers have plenty of slashers and lane penetrators already in that small ball rotation. Having Glenn Robinson in there as a "3-and-D" guy could really provide an intriguing floor spacing option that can help on the defensive end of the floor as well.

When debating between Glenn Robinson and Chase Budinger for the second string small forward role in the small ball lineup; it is important to understand that it isn't mainly about who is the better player, but who the better fit is. Robinson's skill set appears to be the better fit with that rotation than Budinger. 

What does the team need for the small forward role in their small-ball lineup? They need someone that can space the floor with a good catch-and-shoot jump shot, someone that can take care of the ball, a capable lane penetrator, someone that effectively plays without the ball, and an overall quality defender. Budinger is a great off-ball player, but Robinson's overall skill set is a better fit for that role. Let's be clear though, Budinger is the better player at this current moment in time, but Robinson is the better fit for that role. 

There is no room for Glenn Robinson in the team's traditional rotation since C.J. Miles has the backup small forward role. That is especially the case since the Pacers want to go with a 10-man rotation. Chase Budinger's skill set is a better fit for the traditional style too, so Robinson shouldn't receive consideration for this role just yet. 

Glenn Robinson's time isn't now, but that doesn't mean that he can't contribute to the team right now. Not only would it be good for Robinson to get a role in the team's small ball rotation now, but the Pacers would be helping his development for the future. It is understandable if the Pacers don't want to give Robinson too large of a role too early, but being the backup small forward in small ball seems to be the right role for Robinson right now.