Knicks Sign Starting Center to $60 Million Deal

Getty Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks celebrates as the game ends against the Chicago Bulls at Madison Square Garden on February 29, 2020 in New York City.The New York Knicks defeated the Chicago Bulls 125-115.

The New York Knicks have solved on of their biggest questions of the summer and that was what was going to happen with Mitchell Robinson?

On July 1, it was reported the Knicks and Robinson came to an agreement of $60 million over four years for him to stay in New York.

This is largely in line with what was expected for him, so it’s a good deal for both sides, especially if Robinson can stay healthy. Interestingly enough, both Robinson and Kevin Knox were selected in the same draft, but Knox signed with the Pistons on a low-cost deal while Robinson got a lucrative contract.

For Robinson, this is a massive salary bump as he’s going from a $1.8 million deal to one that will pay him $15 million annually.

Robinson Signs Extension

After a guessing game of what the center was going to do in free agency, things seemed to be trending in a direction that would ultimately lead to him returning to the Knicks.

After trading away Nerlens Noel in a salary dump to get Jalen Brunson, the writing was on the wall for Robinson’s return.

The Knicks did eventually get Brunson, so the attention then shifted to resigning Robinson. The point guard position has long been a position of need for New York, so getting Brunson is a big deal.

His playmaking will open up more lobs for Robinson, something he excels at. However, Robinson doesn’t have much of an offensive game outside of that, so the Knicks will almost certainly be hoping the former second round pick develops that over the course of this new contract.

If he stays relatively healthy, this contract could prove to be a steal for the Knicks if Robinson manages to keep up his shot blocking and defense while also adding a bit more offense.

New Backup

Behind Robinson in the depth chart will be Isaiah Hartenstein who agreed to a two-year deal with the team on June 30.

SNY’s Ian Begley reported the Knicks were looking at backups after whiffing on a Dejounte Murray trade, and they didn’t waste any time in finding one.

Hartenstein comes over from the Clippers, and his $16 million deal over two years will put him on a similar contract as Noel, so no harm was done there. What the Knicks will have to hope for is a healthy season because Noel missed much of the past season as the primary backup.

If that can be done, then Hartenstein is a solid pickup for the team and he’ll fit right in. The Knicks will also have some more holes to fill as they have to replace Alec Burks. Burks filled in at point guard last season, and he’s also a good shooter from deep and can play the forward position. He’s a player that will be missed, but Cam Reddish has the ability to step into that role if he’s still on the roster by the time the new season begins.

There are still plenty of moves that can be made, but the Knicks have gotten off to a decent start so far this offseason.

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