Glenn Robinson III aspires to learn from Paul George, be a two-way player

Glenn Robinson III was beaming full of excitement and intrigue when discussing his new situation on Tuesday … in Indianapolis, just over two hours southeast of his hometown, St. John, Indiana.

If the 21-year-old had stayed in school, he’d be preparing for his senior year at the University of Michigan. But he didn’t stay, instead opting for the 2014 NBA Draft — where he was taken 40th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was up in Minneapolis and played in only 25 games until the spring, when injuries to the frontline forced the team to waive him.

Robinson III was then picked up by the tanking Philadelphia 76ers for the final month and a half of games and he went on to average 4.4 points and 2.5 rebounds per game. This summer, he hit free agency and the Pacers were high on him. At 6-foot-7, a wingspan that stretches to 6-foot-10, and a 41.5-inch vertical, the Pacers like the potential of this athletic wing.

Over the weekend, the Pacers and Robinson III agreed to a three-year deal with a little more than a season fully guaranteed, according to a source.

“Glenn comes to us with a set of skills we think will blend in with our team,” Pacers President Larry Bird said in a news release to announce the signing. “We expect him to be very good on the defensive end and he can score the ball. We look forward to seeing him improve throughout the year.”

[Pacers fill roster for 2015-16 season; includes seven newcomers]

One day after signing his new contract, Robinson III met with the media individually on Tuesday. Here’s my conversation with Glenn, who’s determined to learn under the wing of Paul George.

Glenn Robinson III is eager to get started and "overly dedicated" to continue his journey with the Pacers.

Glenn Robinson III is eager to get started and “overly dedicated” to continue his journey with the Pacers.

How do you feel about getting a deal and joining this organization?
I was very excited to begin with. The Pacers organization have been looking at me for a while. They say ever since the (2014) draft process they’ve had a lot of interest in me. When I got cleared to be a free agent, that was really a time that they decided to show a lot more interest. When that offer came, I was just excited and happy to be here.

Now I need to get one thing straight. Did you grow up a fan of the Bulls or Pacers?
I’m closer to Chicago so I grew up always going to Chicago and (I’m) more of a Bulls fan than Pacers but I did make it here a lot as well.

Why didn’t you stick in Minnesota and Philly?
Being drafted to Minnesota I was definitely grateful for that opportunity but we had a lot of wings there, a lot of different guys at that position. I didn’t really get an opportunity to play there. Then, when a couple bigs got hurt, they waived me and I went to Philly. I actually loved Philly. I was there the last 20 games; I played the last 10 and I thought I did pretty well there and definitely showed some potential.

Philly has a lot of different things right now and they were in the mix when choosing teams, but I’m definitely glad to be here and I knew this was the right spot for me.

And that includes learning from Paul, just as he did from Danny Granger?
Exactly like that. I’ve talked to Paul about that. I’ve talked to Aaron (Mintz) and Austin (Brown) — my agents — about that and how Paul first came in here and defense really being the key and why he got on the floor. I think that will be the same opportunity for me. I consider myself as being able to play both ends of the floor and that’s obviously something he can do. I just want to learn as much as I can from him. To be an All-Star level talent like one day is my goal.

You said you spoke with Paul. When was that because he’s been in Asia for the last week?
I talked to him before. We talk occasionally since have the same agency. I don’t know when he’ll be back but getting in workouts, and I know he’s in L.A. often and I train there, too.

Where at in Los Angeles?
I forget the name of the school. It was up by the Valley. It was a school with Mike Penberthy.

(Paul George and Chase Budinger, also Robinson III’s teammate in Minnesota, both with Penberthy, who was hired as the Timberwolves shooting coach last September.)

Why No. 40?
That was the number I was drafted. Ever since the draft, I felt a little slighted. That’s definitely something that I think is a good fit. I’m determined, it’s different, and I’m just ready to get going.

What are you up to in the final two months of the offseason?
I’ll be in L.A. some. Just working out and continuing to work to get better. I know I want to get back here to work with some of the guys in the weight room.

Has Shawn Windle, the strength coach, already given you a plan to attack?
Not yet. I got a chance to meet him, talk to him a little bit about what he does.

[Click here to follow Glenn Robinson III on Twitter.]

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