The New York Knicks still have 14 games left in the NBA season, but Mitchell Robinson is already a hot item in the rumor mill. Robinson is having a quiet but solid season playing as the starting center in 53 of the 62 games for which he has been available. Despite his length, athleticism and rim protection, the Knicks could part ways with him.
Steve Popper, who covers the New York Knicks for Newsday, posted a report on the possibility of Robinson’s last few days with the Knicks. The soon-to-be unrestricted free agent could find himself playing somewhere else if the rumors turn out to be true.
Here’s what Popper had to say in his report:
“An unrestricted free agent at season’s end, he has hesitated to sign an extension before free agency starts and figures to have suitors among the Pistons, the Thunder and if they can work the cap space, the Mavericks.”
The Pistons, Thunder and Mavericks are all young-ish teams who could make do with the athleticism and skills of Robinson. Dallas, in particular, who could be in the thick of postseason runs as long as Luka Doncic is healthy, could make the leap with Robinson in the lineup.
The Detroit Pistons and the OKC Thunder are both rebuilding teams who could use a proven anchor in the middle. Detroit has Isaiah Stewart and rookie Luka Garza manning the middle. They’ve also used the newly-acquired Marvin Bagley III as the center for a few stretches. Mitchell Robinson is arguably the best player among them.
Sam Presti’s young OKC Thunder would also be a great fit for Robinson. Right now, the Thunder have used a center-by-committee approach this season. Mike Muscala and Derrick Favors are the veteran big men, while Aleksej Pokusevski and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl are the young blood who have played center for Mark Daigneault.
The Dallas Mavericks, though, seem like the best fit for Mitchell Robinson. If they can find a way to include him, he would be the kind of interior presence they haven’t had since Tyson Chandler left. Dallas’ already elite defense could be even better with Robinson in the lineup.
NBA Trade Rumors: Should the New York Knicks let go of Mitchell Robinson?
The New York Knicks are at a crossroads as soon as the regular season ends. A year after surprising the NBA with a playoff appearance, they are now 12th in the East and likely to miss even the play-in tournament. More significant changes are bound to happen before Mitchell Robinson’s status could be determined.
Reigning Coach of the Year Tom Thibodeau might not even be around to make decisions this summer. RJ Barrett, who’s just tapping into his enormous potential, is set for a huge extension, which could affect Robinson’s future tenure with the New York Knicks.
There are plenty of unknowns as a summer of uncertainties looms over the horizon. Robinson has proven his worth and is still improving. How the New York Knicks decide on his future will be interesting to see.