The New York Knicks have some decisions to make following the All Star Break and lot of it revolves around who’ll be staying on the roster going forward and who will be leaving.
Tom Thibodeau has hinted at the fact that he might be willing to play some of the younger players more such as Immanuel Quickley, Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes, etc. if for no other reason but to see how the Knicks’ future looks.
After not making a move at the deadline, it seems like New York is happy with their core, so now they need to know if it’s good enough to compete in the future.
Somebody who has shown flashes of talent over his time in New York is Mitchell Robinson. Something that has been a problem throughout his career is his health. When he’s on the floor, he can be dominant force in the paint, but that’s been a big if for the team because he misses a lot of time.
He becomes a free agent after the season and he’s already drawn interest from teams like the Chicago Bulls and Detroit Pistons. The Knicks will definitely be in the running to keep him, but it’ll mean they have to open up their checkbooks and pay Robinson what he’s worth on the open market.
What Can He Get?
Since Robinson is a second round pick, his rookie contract has been dirt cheap for the team and he’s due for a big upgrade once free agency comes around.
Chatter around the league is that he’d be able to command at least $10 million a year on the open market, whether that’s with the Knicks or somebody else.
Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney reveals a three-year, $33 million contract could be the sweet spot for a deal according to an NBA general manager.
“They’ve got Nerlens Noel signed next year and they’ve got a team option after that. Pretty reasonable deal, $18 million total if he is going to be their big man,” Deveney says. “I was asking around, I asked a GM about Robinson and what he thought might be a fair deal for him, a likely deal and he said, around the midlevel. This is what I was told, three years, $33 million would be a likely contract. It’s not a breaker of the bank necessarily, but it is a significant contract and it is one I’m not sure the Knicks really want to take on with Julius Randle’s extension kicking in.”
Noel signed his contract before the season began and the idea was to run both him and Robinson as a tandem, but injuries to both have forced Taj Gibson to have a bigger role than what was likely expected. Noel has only appeared in 25 games for the Knicks this year.
Will the Knicks Keep Him?
The New York Knicks will have to decide if it’s worth gambling on Robinson’s health going into the offseason.
With Jericho Sims, Noel and Gibson the roster, the Knicks do have a bunch of big men that are all vying for minutes. Sims and Noel are still young enough to play a role in the future, and their contracts aren’t exactly a huge deal. However, a Robinson contract could end up tying a lot of money into their centers, two of whom who haven’t proven they can stay on the court as a Knick. When that’s coupled with the Randle extension, it might prove to be costly.
If Robinson does walk, he’ll be garnering a lot of interest around the league and the Knicks would be losing one of their high-energy defenders. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, but he’s definitely a fan favorite among Knicks fans.