The Thunder’s season kicks off on Oct. 25 against the Chicago Bulls. After a surprising 40-42 campaign that ended a win shy of the playoffs, OKC enters this year with playoff aspirations.
Let’s assign three goals for Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who is entering his third season. Injuries have plagued him in his first two seasons thus far, playing only a little over half of his possible career games.
If Robinson-Earl survives roster cuts, then he’ll need to stay healthy during the regular season to show the Thunder why they should keep him around.
Make it past preseason
As it stands right now, the Thunder will need to make three cuts before the start of the regular season. When examining the roster, Robinson-Earl is likely one of the favorites to not make it past preseason in OKC.
The 2021 second-round pick is coming off a forgettable season last year and with several frontcourt players ahead of him on the depth chart, he could be an odd man out for the Thunder.
If he can have an impressive training camp and preseason, perhaps that sways things in the other direction. But as of now, Robinson-Earl is on the bubble for making the final 15-man roster.
If Robinson-Earl survives preseason cuts, then staying healthy is a must for him to stay on the Thunder for the long run.
Durability has been a massive issue with Robinson-Earl through two seasons of his career. He’s only played in 92 of a possible 164 games (56.1%). Last season, he only played in 43 games and missed two months with an ankle sprain.
If Robinson-Earl can’t stay healthy, then that — combined with underwhelming production — could cause him to be shipped out of OKC sooner rather than later.
Be more efficient
Through two seasons, Robinson-Earl is shooting 42.7% from the field on 6.2 attempts. He is also shooting 51% on effective field goals and 53.6% on true shooting — both numbers below the league average.
If Robinson-Earl is going to be a rotation forward, then he needs to be more efficient. Inefficient wings and centers are almost unplayable in the league. Being undersized won’t help his case either. Above-average shooting needs to be his calling card
The 3-point shooting is actually pretty good — he is a career 34.4% shooter on 3 attempts — but the finishing inside the perimeter must improve.