Knicks Pair Headline ‘Worst’ Free Agent Signings So Far

mitchell robinson

Getty Mitchell Robinson.

The New York Knicks have made some big moves this offseason, and it all got started with signing Jalen Brunson to a four-year deal.

Brunson flourished in the playoffs with the Dallas Mavericks last season, and it’s that very performance that may have pushed him out of the Mavs’ price range. They offered him roughly $100 million over five years, so he took the Knicks’ offer of similar money over four years instead.

While Brunson fills a big hole for the Knicks, it’s also important to note he’s never been named to an All-Star team, so he’s making big money without having truly proved himself yet.

This has led some fans to worry about the future of the Knicks, and Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale shares their concerns. It’s less about Brunson and more about the direction of the franchise as a whole. It also applies to the Mitchell Robinson contract.

Free Agency Whiff?

Brunson was clearly a player the Knicks could use, and the writing was on the wall for his arrival since his father was brought on as a coach.

Favale argues that Brunson is a good player, but the signing makes it seem like the Knicks are flailing.

“This signing is more so damning for what it implies about the Knicks: a measure of aimlessness,” he wrote. “Brunson is now either their best or second-best player. The former isn’t getting you very far…at all. The latter is only palatable if your best player is near or around Luka Doncic’s level. The Knicks don’t have that player.”

Brunson has improved greatly over the past season, but he’ll need to keep on doing that to live up to this contract. At the end of the day, it’s not a terrible contract to hand out, but Favale doesn’t seem too excited about it.

“Cap sheets are forever fungible, and free agency is no longer the primary mechanism through which stars shift around,” he said. “Contracts can always be dumped, and the Knicks have plenty of extra firsts to toss around the trade market. This was still an awful lot of trouble to go through for someone who isn’t The Guy, though. So while Brunson’s deal is not catastrophic, it’s a harbinger of an uninspiring, if not incoherent, franchise vision.”

Robinson was also brought back this offseason, and Favale named that as the worst free agent signing of the offseason.

Robinson a Bad Deal?

Robinson resigned with the Knicks on a four-year, $60 million deal, which means he’ll be anchoring the center position for the team as long as he’s healthy.

Favale feels the big man market didn’t warrant a deal like this for New York.

“Gambling on youth is hunky-dory and all that,” he said. “But the big-man market did not warrant a fully guaranteed $60 million for Robinson (if that’s what this is for him). Kevon Looney is only 26 and received $25.5 million over three years (including only $3 million guaranteed in 2024-25). Isaiah Hartenstein, whom the Knicks also signed, is 24 and coming off a more impactful year than Robinson and got $8 million annually.”

Robinson is a big part of the Knicks when he’s healthy as he can be a dominant shot-blocker around the rim. Unfortunately for New York, his health has been a big factor and he’s going to have to avoid injuries to live up to this deal.

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