Warriors sign Nate Robinson
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors wanted to bolster their backcourt with some scoring punch off the bench.
Once again, they're hoping big things come in small packages.
The Warriors completed a deal to sign free agent Nate Robinson on Wednesday night, adding another flashy but undersized guard to a backcourt that already features Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry. The team announced the move before playing at San Antonio.
Robinson is expected to join the Warriors in Los Angeles on Thursday. He'll wear No. 2 when Golden State faces the Lakers on Friday night, but it's unclear how soon he'll play.
The three-time NBA slam dunk champion is expected to provide depth at guard. Curry already has sprained his troublesome, surgically repaired right ankle twice this season.
At 5-foot-9, Robinson makes the combo of Curry and Ellis -- often the target of the team's defensive struggles with each at 6-foot-3 -- look like a towering twosome.
Robinson, a seventh-year pro, was sent from Boston to Oklahoma City as part of the deal that brought center Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder at the trade deadline last season. Robinson averaged 3.3 points and 1.5 assists in 7.5 minutes per game in his short Oklahoma City tenure.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced the 27-year-old Robinson's release Dec. 24. Robinson didn't attend Oklahoma City's training camp after the lockout was lifted, and Presti said then that it was "unlikely he will have an opportunity to contribute on a nightly basis."
During the offseason, Robinson was arrested for urinating in public outside a bookstore in a New York City suburb. He also had been training in his hometown of Seattle but it's unclear what kind of shape he'll be in with no preseason or training camp and the season already a few weeks old.
Certainly, the Warriors are counting on contributions immediately.
Golden State was 2-3 under first-year coach Mark Jackson heading into Wednesday night's game at San Antonio. With Curry's constant injury concerns and little productivity coming from the bench, the Warriors hope Robinson -- while also not known for his defense -- can provide some scoring punch.
Rookies Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins and second-year guard Ishmael Smith have shared time off the bench with mixed results. Robinson turned out to be a key contributor during Boston's run to the 2010 NBA finals, where the Celtics lost to the Lakers in seven games, but he has done little since.
Robinson was drafted 21st overall by the Phoenix Suns in 2005 following a stellar college career at Washington. The Suns traded him on draft night to the New York Knicks, where he spent 4½ seasons. He won the dunk contest during the NBA's All-Star weekend in 2006, 2009 and 2010.
Robinson's best season came in 2008-09, when he averaged 17.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. He has averaged 11.3 points for his career.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press
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