The New York Knicks have a decision to make with their up-and-down big man Mitchell Robinson.
There are stretches where he looks to be very dominant, but then there are games where he doesn’t put up many stats at all. Coupled with his history of being injured, it might be hard for New York to commit to him with a long-term deal.
Before the season began, the Knicks gave center Nerlens Noel a three-year deal, and they were rewarded with somebody who hasn’t been able to stay on the floor. This has made Robinson even more valuable considering the only other options are rookie Jericho Sims and veteran journeyman Taj Gibson.
The Knicks will either have to give their center a big deal, or they can let him walk and potentially join the Pistons or Mavericks, two teams Robinson has been linked to.
HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto and the New York Daily News’s Stefan Bondy talked about Robinson’s impending free agency, and talked with NBA GMs about the type of deal he could find himself getting.
What’s the Market?
Robinson has the ability to command a four-year, $55 million deal, but he’s not exactly expected to get that thanks to his injury history and limited offensive game.
He’d be a big loss for the Knicks if he walks and they are unable to replace him. If his market as predicted by a variety of general managers is accurate, it’d be a lot easier for the Knicks to bring him back.
“One executive told me he could see him getting $15 million if it becomes a bidding war because he’s an unrestricted free agent,” said Scotto.
Noel is on a $10 million per year contract, so it’d make sense for the starter to get more money. That wouldn’t be a contract that breaks the bank by any means, but it would be a lot extra money tied into the position.
If Robinson continues to develop and proves he can add some offensive capabilities, the deal could become a steal, but that’s a stretch to say at this point in time.
“Another executive said, “He’s talented as a rim protector and elite on the offensive glass,” mentioned Scotto. “He’s good offensively in the dunker area, and he can finish at a high clip, but he has no perimeter game and has a bit of an injury history.”
Should He Stay?
Robinson has developed into a fan-favorite among Knicks fans thanks to his hard-working play in the trenches as well as his comedic press conferences.
With that said, if he commands too much money through free agency, the Knicks will likely look to other options. DeAndre Ayton has been linked to the Knicks as of late, and he’d be a perfect fit with the team.
One thing working against them is the fact the Suns could match any deal given thanks to restricted free agency, but even they were against giving Ayton a max contract. An offer from the Knicks could go above the Suns’s limit and cause him to become a Knick.