Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson a Potential Trade Target for Title Contender

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks

Getty Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks reacts during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs.

Throughout his five-year NBA career, New York Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson has established himself as an astoundingly effective rim-runner who can make his presence felt on both sides of the floor.

With his tremendous combination of athleticism and defensive instincts, the 24-year-old has become a dominating young center when found on the floor and, following his decision to re-up with the franchise this past offseason, is slated to be manning the middle for the Knickerbockers for the long haul.

However, though the center’s locked into a four-year commitment with the Knicks, this hasn’t stopped people from discussing the possibility of him being a potential target for opposing ball clubs to pursue.

Just recently, an anonymous Eastern Conference executive went as far as to tell Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney that Robinson could be a player the Boston Celtics could look into acquiring should they call it quits on the highly impactful, though oft-injured Robert Williams III.

“Williams is such a good fit for that team if he is healthy, I can’t see them making a move. But if you get to a point where, OK, this guy is not going to be healthy, they would have to look for a new fit. They would want a defense-first kind of guy who can pitch in on offense, and a guy like Mitchell Robinson in New York would be an interesting guy there,” the exec told Deveney.

The intrigue in such an acquisition for the reigning Eastern Conference champions makes a ton of sense, as Robinson, like Williams, is an incredibly athletic center who is a low-volume, yet highly-efficient scorer (a career 8.3 points per game scorer who shoots 71.9% from the floor) and is a menacing defensive presence with averages of 2.0 blocks per game and boasts a defensive rating of 106 for his career.

However, despite his presumed seamless fit in Boston, as the executive stated it seems rather unlikely that the Celtics will be looking to find a replacement for their 25-year-old big assuming he can find sustained health though, should this not prove to be the case, the Knicks may find themselves receiving a call from their long-time divisional rivals.

Knicks Have ‘Interest’ in Pacers Center

This claim by the executive isn’t the only recent rumbling pertaining to the center position for the Knicks, as Yahoo Sports’ senior NBA reporter Jake Fischer reported in a January 12 article that New York has expressed “registered interest” in the idea of pursuing a deal for Indiana Pacers center, Myles Turner should the two parties have a falling out in their current contract negotiations.

An eight-year NBA veteran, the 26-year-old has proven himself to be one of the most menacing shot blockers in the association, as he boasts a career average of 2.3 blocks per game and a tremendous block percentage of 6.9.

Amid a career year, Turner finds himself sporting a magnificent per-game stat line of 17.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2.3 blocks per contest on 55.2% shooting from the floor and 37.9% shooting from deep.

In his report, Fischer would note that the Knicks could use their “hoard of draft capital” to entice Indiana to part ways with the big man should Leon Rose and company look to pounce on a trade, though ultimately stated that despite their possible interest, the recent play of Mitchell Robinson “might quell any of New York’s attempts to upgrade its frontcourt.”

Through 34 games played in 2022-23, Robinson has averaged 7.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks per game on 69.4% shooting from the field and also is tied for second in the NBA in offensive rebounds with 4.3 a night.

Knicks, Pacers Talked Trade

Though Myles Turner may not be all that likely of an option for the Knicks, this is not to say that the two ball clubs can’t still turn out to be viable trade partners this season, as reports have already surfaced suggesting that Indiana and New York have been in contact regarding a deal for the likes of third-year power forward, Obi Toppin.

During a sit down with Heavy Sports’ NBA Insider Sean Deveney earlier this month, an anonymous Eastern Conference executive reported that the Knicks have engaged in trade talks with the Pacers involving the former lottery pick and, in their eyes, such a move could prove to be highly beneficial for the likes of Toppin.

“There has been some talk between the Pacers and Knicks about Obi (Toppin). He fits in Indiana, especially if they keep Turner. Obi is a rim-runner, he has some toughness, he has athleticism. He needs minutes and a team that is rebuilding with young talent like Indy is a really good match,” the exec told Deveney.

The executive would continue by stating that the Pacers have extra first-rounders at their disposal which, considering the fact that many already believe the Knicks are stockpiling picks, could bode well for a potential deal to ultimately be executed.

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