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New York Knicks Open to Trading Six-Year Veteran?

Mar 29, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau enters Frost Bank Center before a game against the San Antonio Spurs. Mandatory Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports Mitchell Robinson

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports, the New York Knicks are reportedly contacting other teams about a potential trade to move on from center Mitchell Robinson. Fischer also mentions that the Knicks are likely going to re-sign free agent center Isaiah Hartenstein, which is likely the motivation behind trading Robinson away.

Hartenstein, at this moment, is now generally expected to return to New York, as the Knicks have contacted opposing teams about moving Mitchell Robinson, sources said.

Robinson has spent his entire six-year NBA career with the Knicks so far. After a promising start to his career, the former second-round pick’s role has diminished due to injuries and Hartenstein’s emergence. Last season, Robinson appeared in just 31 games and started 21 of them. In those games, he averaged 5.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.2 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game.

The big man has two years remaining on his contract.

New York Knicks Open to Trading Six-Year Veteran?

The Knicks Are Not ‘Fully Committed’ to Trading Mitchell Robinson

Although it seems like a real possibility, there is no guarantee the Knicks trade Robinson this summer. Ian Begley, a reporter for the Knicks, believes a potential Robinson trade is not something the Knicks are “fully committed” to.

“I don’t get the sense that the Knicks are fully committed to moving Robinson at the moment. But his contract (two years remaining on a descending four-year, $60 million) is helpful to salary match in potential trades.”

However, if the Knicks do decide to move on from Robinson, Begley notes that trading the 26-year-old could give the team a lot of financial flexibility.

“The Knicks’ priority is to re-sign OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein. If they re-sign both players and guarantee Bojan Bogdanovic’s contract for next season, the Knicks will probably be past the luxury tax threshold.”

“The roster could be even more expensive the following season. So trading Robinson for a player whose contract expires after next season would lower their tax bill and, presumably, give them more wiggle room beneath the second apron.”

Begley also suggests that the Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Pelicans are all potential suitors for Robinson. All three teams have expressed interest in adding a center to their roster during the offseason. If the Knicks end up trading Robinson, these three teams are all worth monitoring over the summer.

Mitchell Robinson Is Not the Only Center Possibly on the Move

In addition to Robinson, there is another Eastern Conference team who could move on from their big man. According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the Milwaukee Bucks have considered moving on from 2021 NBA champion Brook Lopez. This is due to the team wanting “to play a more versatile style of defense next season.”

“There are rumblings that the Bucks would like to play a more versatile style of defense next season, which raises the question of whether Brook Lopez has a future there. Trading Brook Lopez for Brown is a perfect match of salaries, and then the Raptors could flip Lopez elsewhere. The amount of screening and cutting Brown could do in support of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard would be glorious to watch.”

It will be interesting to see if either team moves on from their starting centers this summer.


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