The New York Knicks have an exciting yet lengthy off-season ahead of them, having already been knocked out of the postseason by the Atlanta Hawks. A few decisions internally have to be made on players either returning or leaving in free agency. Of course, the organization will be connected to the majority of big names on the market, including Chris Paul, Kawhi Leonard, and even a potential trade for Damian Lillard.
Let’s take a break from the external news and take a look at Mitchell Robinson and Derrick Rose.
Mitchell Robinson returns to practice:
(Via: mrobinson23_/IG) pic.twitter.com/mOGJPitVkL
— KNICKS ON MSG (@KnicksMSGN) June 10, 2021
Robinson is finally returning to practice after missing the past few months with a fractured foot. The Knicks young center fractured his hand early in the campaign, and shortly after returning, he suffered a significant foot injury that kept him out for the entire postseason. This occurred on March 28, so the Knicks supplemented his loss with Taj Gibson, who played admirably against Atlanta.
Nonetheless, Mitchell was sorely missed in the series, as the Hawks had more size in the paint with Clint Capela, and the Knicks were unable to fight him off on the boards.
Robinson only played in 31 games last season, averaging 8.3 points, 1.5 blocks, at 8.1 total rebounds. He was a catalyst when on the floor for New York, offering them size and energy from the center position. Ultimately, this series against Atlanta might’ve been different if they had Robinson, and hopefully, he can remain healthy for the season ahead. He currently has just one year left on his rookie deal, as the Knicks has a club option, fully guaranteed for the 2021-22 season. They will undoubtedly pick up that option for the 22-year-old, and hopefully, he can remain healthy and justify an extension.
Should the Knicks prioritize retaining Derrick Rose?
One of the biggest questions for the Knicks this off-season is the retention of Derrick Rose. Rose was phenomenal for the Knicks since being acquired at the trade deadline from Detroit. Without him, they would’ve never competed against Atlanta over five games, and he was directly responsible for their surge at the end of the season. He averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 assists, and shot .487 from the field. He also set a career-high with a .411 three-point percentage over 2.6 attempts per game.
Rose is coming off a two-year, $15 million deal, and while he primarily comes off the bench, the Knicks could retain him in a sixth man role. Keeping him on a one-year, $7 million deal might get the job done, and based on how he performed last year and how he pushed through injuries, retaining one of their premier leaders and bench players could be considered a priority.
Alternatively, the team added Argentinian Luca Vildoza on a four-year deal, so they could be looking to him to supplement the loss of Rose, which is justifiable.