Will Barton had just suffered a right knee injury. His Las Vegas Summer League availability was suddenly in jeopardy. His mood, needless to say, was down.

But even amid depressing circumstances, Barton couldn’t help but gush about Thomas Robinson when the subject arose.

“Thomas gives us a lot,” Barton said. “A lot of energy. Rebounds. Blocked shots. He plays so hard. It’s fun to have a guy like that on your team. He’s a big-time player and he’s going to be good.”

There has been a lot of enthusiasm surrounding the Trail Blazers’ addition of Robinson this offseason. General manager Neil Olshey labeled it an “absolute steal” and the consensus — both locally and nationally — seems to be that the Blazers scooped up Robinson for nothing when they acquired him for a pair of second-round draft picks and a couple of international prospects.

But after two uneven summer league appearances, including Sunday’s 81-63 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, that opinion has a fresh perspective.

Robinson’s effort and energy have been inconsistent. His raw and beastly athleticism have been more imposing than productive. Far too often, he’s resorted to one-on-one offensive play rather than embracing the dirty work he supposedly relishes.

But all of this comes with one gigantic caveat: It’s summer league. Performances in Las Vegas — both good and bad — always should be digested with a measure of caution. After all, in 2008, Jerryd Bayless looked like a future All-Star as he bulldozed his way to MVP honors and Nicolas Batum looked over his head and out of his league. Look how that turned out.

Robinson only went through two practices before he was thrust into the Blazers’ summer league starting lineup at power forward, so it would be unwise to rush to judgement.