3 Potential Teams to Trade for Knicks Center Mitchell Robinson Named

Mitchell Robinson

Getty Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks.

Three Western Conference teams are candidates to trade for the New York Knicks‘ longest-tenured player Mitchell Robinson, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.

“The Lakers, Grizzlies, and Pelicans are among the teams closely monitoring the center position this offseason. The Hawks have continued to gauge the market for Clint Capela. Yahoo! Sports earlier reported that the Knicks were gauging the market for Robinson,” Begley wrote on June 21.

The Knicks have started shopping Robinson around, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, as the team is determined to re-sign his former backup Isaiah Hartenstein to a massive deal.

“Hartenstein, at this moment, is now generally expected to return to New York, as the Knicks have contacted opposing teams about moving Mitchell Robinson, sources said,” Fischer wrote on June 21.

The Lakers are eyeing a center who can protect the rim and play next to Anthony Davis who will slide back to power forward, his preferred playing position. On the other hand, the Pelicans are likely to move on from Jonas Valanciunas this offseason while the Grizzlies have already traded Steven Adams.

Robinson was on pace to an All-Defensive Team season but an ankle injury forced him to miss 50 games. He re-aggravated his injury in the offseason.

Among the three teams, the Pelicans are considered the best landing spot for Robinson due to his strong roots there. He was a high school star in Chalmette, Louisiana before the Knicks took him as the 36th overall pick in 2018.

Robinson averaged 8.0 points, 7.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in six seasons with the Knicks. He has two years and roughly $27 million left in his four-year contract.

Alex Caruso Trade Increases Isaiah Hartenstein’s Return

The increased odds of Hartenstein returning to the Knicks came on the heels of the Alex CarusoJosh Giddey trade, according to Fischer.

“The Thunder were once considered a possible purveyor of another short-term balloon payment, with Isaiah Hartenstein frequently labeled by league personnel as a potential recipient. The Caruso deal doesn’t entirely eliminate that possibility, although multiple figures with knowledge of OKC’s thinking indicated the Thunder are far more likely to pursue a situational reserve big man to support Chet Holmgren in the frontcourt, as opposed to dramatically shifting the effective five-out style of the Thunder’s overall offense,” Fischer wrote.

The Thunder were one of the teams with cap room who could outbid the Knicks to sign Hartenstein this offseason. The other teams who have cap room already have starting-caliber centers.

Proposed Trade for Mitchell Robinson

Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley proposed a trade that would send Robinson home to New Orleans and get the Knicks inside the top 10 of this year’s NBA Draft.

New York Knicks receive: No. 6 pick and Larry Nance Jr.

New Orleans Pelicans receive: Mitchell Robinson and No. 24 pick

“This deal would let the Knicks check that box while bringing back a completely serviceable (and cheaper) backup center in Nance. More importantly, it might deliver an optimal backcourt running mate for Jalen Brunson, provided [Stephon] Castle’s perimeter shot comes around. That’s about all the 6’6″ guard needs to add, since he can handle, create, finish and defend with ferocity,” Buckley wrote.

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