Knicks ‘Have Concerns’ About Future of Key Free Agent, NBA Exec Says

Mitchell Robinson

Getty Mitchell Robinson gets a defensive rebound during a February 1 game against the Chicago Bulls.

With free agency rapidly approaching, the New York Knicks will need to figure out what to do with Mitchell Robinson.

The young center is the starter in New York when he’s healthy, but that’s no guarantee as both the team and fans have seen now.

He’s expected to command well over $10 million per year going into the next contract, so it’ll be a big pay bump that the Knicks might not want to pay. The Knicks will also have competition from teams looking for a center themselves.

An NBA executive speaking to Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney says the Knicks have concerns another team could come in and swoop their center out from under their feet.


Will Robinson Leave?

Mitchell Robinson Knicks-Bucks

GettyNew York Knicks big man Mitchell Robinson defends Khris Middleton during a bout with the Milwaukee Bucks.

As of right now, it’s anybody’s guess as to whether Robinson will stick with the Knicks or if he’ll join another team.

According to the NBA executive, the Knicks are concerned a team with a lot of cap space that’s in the market for a center could come in and make a move the team doesn’t want to match.

The Knicks do have concerns about Robinson There is a feeling that one of the teams with cap space, especially Detroit, could come in and steal him,” said the exec. “San Antonio, possibly, and Toronto needs a big man, but Detroit could make an offer they do not want to match.”

In the case of the Pistons, they were a team who did their due diligence at the trade deadline before ultimately passing on him. Robinson’s talent would fit well with the young talent there, and it would relegate Isaiah Stewart to the bench where he could perhaps be a better fit as a high-energy backup.

Because of all the uncertainty surrounding Robinson, the exec says it’s affecting the way New York is looking at the draft.

“The Knicks though, they’re not sure which direction to go in at the draft because they’re not sure what they’re going to be looking for in two weeks.”


Tough Spot

mitchell robinson knicks

GettyMitchell Robinson might need to be replaced.

Outside of Robinson, there are several more areas that need to be addressed. Most notably, the Knicks will need to fix the point guard position. Alec Burks and Kemba Walker manned the spot last season and the results were mixed at best.

There are numerous ways the Knicks could go whether it’s snagging somebody like Jaden Ivey in the draft, signing Jalen Brunson, trading for Terry Rozier, or several other examples.

Robinson would be an important piece to lose, but the Knicks do have insurance in the event that happens. On the roster currently are Jericho Sims and Nerlens Noel, so the Knicks could presumably weather that storm. However, Noel has similar health concerns and missed much of the past season due to injury.

He’s on an affordable deal, and an executive notes he could also be dangled in a trade, perhaps with the Lakers.

“The Lakers wanted him last year when they were talking with the Raptors and Knicks,” said the exec. “That could come back up if they were willing to give up Talen Horton-Tucker and the Knicks would have to send back a pick of some kind.”

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