Robert Covington
Robert Covington
28-Year-Old ForwardF
Minnesota Timberwolves
2019 Fantasy Outlook
A knee injury kept Covington out of the 2019 portion of last season, though not before he was dealt to the Timberwolves from the 76ers in the Jimmy Butler trade. He played 22 games for the Wolves, starting each one, averaging 14.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.5 threes, 2.3 steals, 1.5 assists and 1.1 blocks. He'll look to get healthy ahead of the 2019-20 season, and it appears he'll be Minnesota's starting power forward. While Covington has started every appearance over the past three seasons, his health is of some concern, as he's averaging just 63.8 games played across the past five years. Still, Covington has established himself as one of the NBA's premier three-and-D specialists, giving him plenty of fantasy value. He should hold an extremely similar role to the one he's had lately, making him a relatively safe pick come draft day. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $62 million contract extension with the 76ers in November of 2017. Traded to the Timberwolves in October of 2018.
Hauls in 19 boards in Tuesday's win
FMinnesota Timberwolves
October 15, 2019
Covington recorded 10 points (4-10 FG, 2-5 3Pt), 19 rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and one steal in 28 minutes during Tuesday's 119-111 win over the Pacers.
Covington was incredible, recording a double-double while doing a bit of everything in this one. His career high rebounding total for the regular season is 14, and given that Covington could play substantial minutes at power forward next to Karl-Anthony Towns, the combo forward could be in line for a big year on the boards.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Following two straight seasons of missing at least 15 games, Covington was able to stay healthy for nearly the entire 2017-18 campaign, taking the court for all but two contests. He turned that into an extremely effective Fantasy showing, as the 27-year-old was a contributor in almost every stat category. Covington averaged 12.6 points while being a complimentary scoring option behind the likes of Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid, J.J. Redick and Dario Saric, and also added 5.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists. On the defensive side of the ball, Covington was just as impactful in what wound up being his first ever All-Defensive First Team selection, averaging a combined 2.6 steals/blocks across 31.6 minutes. It didn't stop there though, as Covington also hit 2.5 three-pointers per game and was an efficient shooter across the board at 41.3 percent from the field, 36.8 percent from beyond the arc and 85.3 percent from the three-point line. All in all, there were very few weaknesses in Covington's contributions. That should result in high expectations going into the upcoming season. The addition of Wilson Chandler is something to keep an eye on, but it seems unlikely he ultimately cuts in Covington's workload much, if at all. Covington can also play both forward positions successfully, so that should help keep him on the floor for a 30-plus minute workload. If he's able to finish anywhere near the numbers he contributed last year, Covington will be a top-50 selection and is someone that can be targeted in the early middle rounds of most Fantasy drafts. He doesn't have many holes in his game, so his multi-category production and solid efficiency should help Fantasy owners cut deficits all season long.
Covington has emerged as one of the best defenders in the league, placing fourth in the Defensive Player of the Year voting, albeit a distant fourth. In his three seasons as a 76er, he has developed into a reliable role player. He provides Fantasy value as a rare player able to contribute in threes, steals, and blocks, and he also scores and rebounds at a solid clip. In 2016-17, he recorded the 11th most steals in the league, and the fourth most per game. However, his game also comes with some risk. He has yet to play more than 70 games in a season, his three-point percentage has gotten worse each year he’s been with the 76ers, and he has shot below 40 percent from the field in all three of his seasons as a 76er. Earlier in his career, he lost time to knee injuries and a concussion. In 2016-17, he missed games due to a back injury, a hand injury, a head contusion that reportedly was not a concussion, and then another knee injury. The improved talent around him in 2017-18 should spread the floor, and help improve his offensive efficiency, though he is likely to remain a net negative in that area. Covington’s ability to play shooting guard, small forward, or power forward will help him earn time on a depth chart that suddenly has more talented players than starting positions. He may lose some time and offensive touches due to the upgraded roster, but his defensive prowess should ensure that he sees enough court time to remain a Fantasy factor.
Though knee injuries and a concussion limited him to 67 games last season, Covington asserted himself as the Sixers’ top threat from downtown once healthy, knocking down 2.5 treys per game while hitting them at a 35.3 percent clip. In addition, he established himself as more of a reliable defender, collecting 1.6 steals and 6.3 rebounds per game, both of which were improvements over his marks from the 2014-15 campaign. The rebounding spike may have been fueled in part by coach Brett Brown’s willingness to deploy Covington as a stretch four, where he was able to use his 6-foot-9, 215-pound frame to hold his own against bigger players. Although Covington proved to be a better fit at power forward defensively, he’ll likely have to spend even more time on the wing during the coming season, as Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor, Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Dario Saric figure to absorb the bulk of the minutes in the frontcourt. Those players, along with the offseason additions of guards Jerryd Bayless and Gerald Henderson, may result in Covington seeing a decline in attempts, but his dependable three-point shooting on a roster that’s generally lacking in that department ensures that he’ll have an important place in Brown’s rotation.
At one time destined to live out his days in the D-League, Robert Covington was plucked from the Grand Rapids Drive by the 76ers in mid-November last season, weeks after the Rockets waived him, and the Sixers carved out a significant role for Covington during his sophomore season. Through 70 games, Covington averaged 13.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.4 blocks, and 2.4 three-pointers in 28 minutes per game. His reliance on perimeter shots, combined with constant defensive aggression leading to one of the league's highest rate of contested shots, diminished Covington's field goal percentage to 40 percent, but his silky shooting stroke yielded an 82 percent free-throw mark. Through 77 career games, Covington's 171 made three-pointers matched the Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard for most three-pointers at that point in their career. Covington's versatility allowed coach Brett Brown to use him at shooting guard, small forward, and power forward, and Covington was a staple in the starting lineup from mid-December through February, losing his stranglehold on the position when Jason Richardson returned from a two-year hiatus. The 24-year-old forward's contract this upcoming season is not fully guaranteed until January, but the development he displayed last season should be enough to help him reclaim the starting small forward gig.
Covington didn't get a chance to play his way into a role during his rookie season, as he finished playing in only seven games with the Rockets. For the entire 2013-14 year, he finished averaging 2.3 points, 0.7 rebounds, 0.3 steals, and 0.6 three-pointers made, in five minutes per game. He also seemed to struggle during the summer league schedule this year, where he averaged a meager 7.5 points per game against lesser competition. Covington is going to have a tough time finding minutes this season, as the power forward position is stacked with bodies. Starter Terrence Jones is coming off a solid second season in the league, along with holdover Donatas Motiejunas, and newcomers Jeff Adrien and Joey Dorsey taking up reserve minutes. He'll even have to keep Rockets' first-round draft pick Clint Capela from taking any playing time that may have been left over, so it's going to be a long, uphill battle for Covington this season if he hopes of having any role whatsoever. Covington may end up spending time in the NBA D-League with the Rockets' affiliate in order to get him more experience and more time to improve his game.
An undrafted rookie, Covington missed much of his senior year at Tennessee with a knee injury, but proved himself healthy with a strong summer league showing. He's a long shot to see major minutes given his lack of bulk (6-9, 215).
More Fantasy News
Improves offensively in win
FMinnesota Timberwolves
October 14, 2019
Covington registered six points (2-3 FG, 2-3 3Pt), five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal across 12 minutes during the Timberwolves' 131-101 preseason win over Maccabi Haifa on Sunday.
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Struggles offensively in loss
FMinnesota Timberwolves
October 11, 2019
Covington registered five points (2-8 FG, 1-5 3Pt), seven rebounds and two assists across 18 minutes during the Timberwolves' 143-123 preseason loss to the Warriors on Thursday.
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Will ease his way into camp
FMinnesota Timberwolves
September 30, 2019
Covington said Monday that he plans to "ease into things" in training camp, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic reports.
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To be ready for camp
FMinnesota Timberwolves
August 22, 2019
Covington is "on course" to be ready for training camp, Dane Moore of Zone Coverage reports.
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Likely to start at power forward
FMinnesota Timberwolves
July 25, 2019
Coach Ryan Saunders said Tuesday that "there is a strong possibility" that Covington (knee) opens the season as the Timberwolves' starting power forward, Dane Moore of reports.
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