The New York Knicks have some young players to keep an eye on this offseason if they want to continue building around their core.
Going forward, New York will have the core of RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Miles McBride and Quentin Grimes to build around.
Some of those pieces could be flipped for other players, but that’s the basic group that Knicks fans will have to look forward to for the next several years.
However, some of those players are nearing the end of their rookie contracts, and they could find themselves leaving for greener pastures.
One player who the team should keep an eye on is Mitchell Robinson. After not signing a contract extension, Robinson could play out the rest of this year and then find himself playing for somebody else next season.
That would be a big blow for the Knicks, and that could be a factor into why they’ve invested so much into the center position recently.
Bleacher Report’s Andy Bailey went as far as saying Robinson is the team’s biggest flight risk this offseason, indicating he could leave New York in the coming months.
Will Robinson Leave?
Currently, the Knicks have Taj Gibson, Jericho Sims, Nerlens Noel and Robinson on the roster as centers. Noel signed a three-year deal in the offseason, so he’ll be here for the long haul.
This might lead to the Knicks letting Robinson walk, especially when you consider Julius Randle’s extension kicks in next season. There will be a lot of money tied up into big men, and it might result in a problem when it comes to filling out the rest of the roster.
The biggest extension New York can offer Robinson is five years for $55 million. There’s not a sense at the moment the Knicks would be willing to offer that, but it would also be tough to see him walk.
Both the Pistons and Bulls showed interest in the big man at the deadline, so expect them to be suitors in the offseason as well.
Can They Afford to Let Him Go?
The thing that is standing in the way of Robinson and a big pay day is the fact that he hasn’t been able to stay very healthy during his time in New York.
He’s even missed a bunch of time to start the year off, same as Noel, and it caused the Knicks to use Gibson a lot more than was expected coming into the season.
Now that he’s healthy, he’s showing how dominant he can be, but there will always be questions about his health. It’s tough to tie up a bunch of money in a player who won’t always be on the floor, but it’s also tough to let somebody with the talent of Robinson just leave.
While it wouldn’t be the end of the world if he signed with somebody else, he’s a favorite among Knicks fans, so it would definitely hurt morale.