The New York Knicks do appear to have a dilemma of sorts on their hands when it comes to center Mitchell Robinson.
Something the young center has been known for in his short career is his defense, but also his injuries. In the return to the players for the Knicks, Robinson was held out of the entire series against the Hawks, so he didn’t get the experience of the postseason due to injury.
As another season in the cusp of starting, Robinson is going in with hopes of being in the Defensive Player of the Year conversation, something that is certainly possible if he’s able to stay in the lineup.
He’s also going into a contract year, and the team will have to make a big decision with his future.
Knicks president Leon Rose broke his silence and discussed Robinson’s upcoming contract, but didn’t really do much to alleviate concerns that he could walk in the offseason.
Rose Talks Robinson
Team president Leon Rose confirms that Robinson’s return to the team in full is still considered to be a “work in progress,” according to the New York Post’s Marc Berman.
While there were rumblings of Robinson signing an extension before the season started, as the days go on it’s looking less and less likely that it will happen.
Rose appeared to be very non-committal to that happening, instead saying he wants to see the young center player.
“As far as a contract goes, we love Mitchell Robinson and we look forward to seeing him play,” he said.
The Knicks do have a safety net in place as they brought back center Nerlens Noel, a player who filled in admirably for Robinson last season, and they also resigned a Thibodeau favorite in Taj Gibson.
Ideally, the Knicks would want Robinson starting with Noel as a backup, but that’s a perfect world and everyone knows that injuries affect every team in the NBA.
Knicks Have Lots to Balance
If the dominoes fall in the place, the Knicks should certainly find themselves back in the playoffs, but they will need to hope injuries stay far away from them.
On NBA Media Day, Derrick Rose confirmed he’ll be coming off the bench while Kemba Walker gets the start each night. Both of these players will be playing huge roles on the team, but each of them have a history of injuries.
To Rose’s credit, his major ones appear to be in the rearview window, but Walker was sitting on back-to-backs just last season. He says this was a decision made by the Celtics and not him, so maybe that could change this season.
With three key pieces of the lineup having a long laundry list of injuries, the Knicks will do everything they can to keep them healthy, especially since the success of the team relies on it.
With close to a month left until the season, Robinson still has to get back in game-shape, but Julius Randle says he’s been looking good this offseason, so maybe this could be his breakout year.