NBA DRAFT | CHARLOTTE HORNETS | JUNE 26

Charlotte Hornets work out Glenn Robinson III in draft prep

rbonnell@charlotteobserver.comMay 30, 2014 

He’s not as tall as his dad or as accomplished.

Glenn Robinson III won’t be the top pick in the NBA draft, the way his namesake was back in 1994. But people who’ve seen father and son play recognize distinctive similarities.

“He actually moves a lot like his dad,” Charlotte Hornets coach Steve Clifford observed, after Robinson was one of six players working out at Time Warner Cable Arena on Friday in preparation for the June 26 draft.

Robinson is a 6-foot-6 small forward who played two seasons at Michigan before turning pro. He figures to go in the latter half of the first round, and the Hornets have the 24th overall pick, along with the ninth and 45th picks.

Robinson played with several current or aspiring NBA players at Michigan. Point guard Trey Burke made the All-Rookie team with the Utah Jazz. Nik Stauskas, another wing shooter and ex-Wolverine, could be a Hornets option at No. 9.

But the biggest thing that got Robinson ready for this moment was growing up in the atmosphere he’s about to enter full-time.

“It was pretty cool,” Robinson said of his father’s 11-season NBA career, mostly with the Milwaukee Bucks. “I saw some games and saw some practices, just noticed how they acted on that level. It definitely helps me.”

Now there’s always a resource a phone call away, although the older, 6-foot-7 Robinson soft-pedaled basketball initially.

“My dad never forced me to play the game. It was all because I came for it,” the younger Robinson said. “I always came to him for help and advice, and now he sees that I love it, so he throws out more advice.”

The Wolverines were among college basketball’s best the past two seasons, reaching the national championship game in 2013 and winning the Big Ten regular season outright in 2014.

Robinson – more a driver/athlete than an outside shooter – could have turned pro last spring and likely been a first-round pick. He found the experience in Ann Arbor special, so he pushed off the pros another season.

“It was oftentimes like a little All-Star Game,” Robinson said of the talent at Michigan. “We bonded with each other on and off the court. I know it will be different at the next level with guys with families fighting for jobs. But at the same time, there’s got to be some bond at some point.”

Robinson was in a group of six players Friday, mostly small forwards at the NBA level and most who’d be slotted for the 24th or 45th picks. Others at the workout were Thanasis Antetokounmpo (Development League), DeAndre Daniels (Connecticut), Cleanthony Early (Wichita State), Melvin Ejim (Iowa State) and C.J. Fair (Syracuse).

Notes: Several current Hornets were in the arena Friday to work out after the draft auditions. Clifford addressed their situations as the off-season proceeds.

• Small forward Jeff Taylor is rehabbing from a ruptured Achilles tendon. Clifford said he wants Taylor practicing “patience” with his rehab, so as to not risk re-injury.

“He wants to do everything today, and it’s not that kind of injury,” Clifford said. “The doctor said they’re happy with where he’s at. He needs to keep going at the rate they want him to.”

Clifford said he hopes Taylor is able to practice some with the Hornets’ summer-league team in July. Taylor would like to play at Las Vegas Summer League, but Clifford said, “I don’t see any way that can happen.” …

• Assistant coach Mark Price continues to work with small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist on his jump shot. Price seems to be tweaking several things, including the release point of Kidd-Gilchrist’s shot, but balance is the key issue.

“From Day 1, it’s been balance,” Clifford said. “You’ll see a lot of guys shoot fade jumpers. I don’t care who it is, nobody makes as many off-balance shots as balanced shots. It’s a big deal.” …

• Kemba Walker and Cody Zeller are back in Charlotte, beginning to work on their games again. Clifford said he’s in no rush for veteran center Al Jefferson to start working out, after Jefferson suffered a plantar fascia injury in the playoffs.

“He’s at the stage of (riding a) stationary bike,” Clifford said. “For him it’s much more the conditioning part than it is on the floor. You don’t want (older players) pounding for three months in the summer.”

Rick Bonnell: (704) 358-5129; Tritter: @rick_bonnell

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