The New York Knicks have control over big man Mitchell Robinson for one more season on a $1.8 million salary. Considering how little the former second-round pick is earning, they felt sticking with him for the remainder of his rookie contract was more efficient than trading for a player like Myles Turner, who is making nearly $18 million next season.
Last season, Robinson played in just 31 games, as reserve option Nerlens Noel ended up taking over the starting role for the majority of the campaign. During his sample size, Robinson averaged 27.5 minutes per game, posting 8.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. Most of his statistics were down from his 2019-20 season when he just missed double-digit points per game and recorded 2.0 blocks per contest. He also connected on a career-high .742 effective field goal percentage.
However, the defensive center is eyeing a big developmental leap. He has Defensive Player of the Year aspirations, and with the ability to guard the perimeter but also drop into the paint and contain power forwards and centers, thereâ€™s no question he can take his game to the next level.
Several weeks ago, Robinson’s trainer Marcell Scott indicated how much the Knicks are invested in the big man:
â€œSome of the Knicks staff is here in New Orleans making sure he is straight physically. They are truly invested in Mitch,â€ Robinsonâ€™s trainer Marcell Scott told Empire Sports Media. â€œItâ€™s gonna be a great year!â€
Robinson has been active on social media lately, indicating his desire to win DPOY and his increased strength/size.
I’m bigger and stronger can’t wait to see how this year go https://t.co/EdAIZJQrat
— Mitchell Robinson (@23savage____) August 23, 2021
Robinson is a 7-foot, 240-pounds center, but after a season working on building his muscle mass and physicality, he could be inching toward 260-pounds.
With the Knicks heavily invested in Robinson rehabilitating from a fractured foot he suffered last season, he should be 100% healthy for the start of the 2021 -22 season. This is his final opportunity to wow the front office, as they will have to make a decision on his future and a potential long-term contract.
Do you think it is realistic for Robinson to win DPOY this upcoming season? Comment below!