BOSTON - The 76ers expect their future to include a towering frontcourt of Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid.

Thomas Robinson, however, could fit in as a nice backup.

"When you just talk about his skill package, he's got tenacity," Sixers coach Brett Brown said of Robinson. "If he does anything, he plays hard. . . . His gift is he is highly, highly competitive. And there is a bull mentality in him."

Those are the qualities the Sixers find endearing and want in their franchise moving forward. The only problem is that Robinson will become a free agent after this season.

There could be a market for the third-year power forward, whom the Sixers claimed off waivers on Feb. 22. Robinson was averaging 8.1 points and 9.0 rebounds in just 17.5 minutes through 10 games with the Sixers. His rebounding pace equates to 18.5 per 36 minutes.

Robinson was asked if he sees himself coming back to play with Noel and Embiid next season.

"I don't think that far in the future," he said. "I try to go one day at a time, especially [with] what I've been through in this league.

"But it's scary to think about what we three have here, especially with those two getting older. . . . Everybody is excited for Joel [who is sitting out this season after foot surgery] to come back, and if I keep doing my thing, it's definitely scary."

It would also be scary to see what Robinson does given the opportunity to play extended minutes.

A high motor has been Robinson's reputation since the 6-foot-9, 240-pounder out of Kansas was the fifth overall pick by the Sacramento Kings in 2012.

But Robinson was traded to the Houston Rockets in February 2013, and then to the Portland Trail Blazers that July. The Blazers traded him Feb. 19 to the Denver Nuggets, who waived him three days later.

"I don't blame any team or any head office for moving me," Robinson said. "It's all part of the business. So I understood that part of it any time I got moved. So I just think I've been in unfortunate situations so far.

"Sacramento, a rough start and I got traded halfway through the season. Houston, they made room for Dwight [Howard and Robinson played] behind LeMarcus [Aldridge], the best power forward in the game in Portland."

Through it all, his confidence and desire haven't wavered.

"My chance will come," Robinson said. "When that day comes, I'll show people."