Knicks secure another free agency victory by keeping Mitchell Robinson in New York
On the second day of free agency, the New York Knicks and Mitchell Robinson agreed to a contract. There was a sense of worry that the 24-year-old big man would go elsewhere, but in the end, New York kept its 2018 second-round pick.
As soon as free agency began at 6 p.m. ET on Thursday, the Knicks signed backup center Isaiah Hartenstein to a fully guaranteed two-year, $16 million contract. Once that was made official, many fans assumed that a Robinson contract would be in the works after New York agreed to a deal with Jalen Brunson.
And now that Robinson is back, and won’t be going to another Atlantic Division team like the Toronto Raptors, the Knicks can shift their focus elsewhere. As it stands, New York has four centers on the roster: Robinson, Hartenstein, Jericho Sims, and Taj Gibson. The expectation is that Gibson and the $5.2 million that he’s set to make next season will soon be waived.
It feels weird to say this, but the Knicks have had a solid free agency so far. The jumbled mess that was draft night has paid off so far.
Knicks sign Mitchell Robinson to a four-year, $60 million contract in free agency
In 2021-22, Robinson averaged 8.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks while shooting 76.1% from the field. One of the main concerns about Robinson is his health, but he’s coming off a season where he played in a career-high 72 games.
New York went after Hartenstein in free agency to have depth at that position, even with having Sims already. And according to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Knicks have considered converting Sims’ two-way contract to a standard contract. New York will operate with three centers on the roster for 2022-23.
Hartenstein is known as an elite passer and he can hit shots, which is a limitation of Robinson’s game. The starting center’s range has been confined to the post in his four years in the league. It goes without saying that if Robinson can expand his offensive game, the Knicks will greatly benefit.
But we know that Robinson loves to throw down lobs, and with Brunson at the point, it’s going to be fun to watch the two of them go at it. Brunson also likes to attack defenses at the rim, which is an adjustment that Robinson (and the other players) are going to have to get used to. After all, New York hasn’t had a true starting point guard in so long.
Now the Knicks have their point guard of the future, and there will no longer be worries about Robinson’s future. He’s in New York to stay.