Before the Portland Trail Blazers traded point guard Jrue Holiday to the Boston Celtics, the New York Knicks’ front office reportedly floated Mitchell Robinson’s name in an offer for the All-Star.
How the Damian Lillard Trade Opened the Door for The Knicks to Enquire About Holiday
Ian Begley of SNY went into the Knicks making Robinson expendable in hopes of landing Holiday, saying:
“Robinson’s name came up in the Knicks’ talks with Portland about a potential Jrue Holiday trade, per SNY sources,” Begley said. Obviously, nothing came to fruition there, but any team talking to the Knicks about a significant deal will probably ask about Robinson.”
Holiday was eventually moved to Boston for Malcolm Brogdon, Robert Williams III, and two future first-round draft picks. The Blazers had initially acquired Holiday along with Deandre Ayton in a blockbuster three-team deal that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks.
It was not apparent that the Blazers would be looking to add another starting-caliber center similar to Robinson in Williams III, that would wind up coming off the bench.
Begley did not specify which other players were included in trade talks, if any. Jalen Brunson’s status on the team has been all but solidified and a trade involving Sixth Man of the Year Candidate Immanuel Quickly in conjunction with Robinson might’ve required more to entice Blazers general manager Joe Cronin.
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Robinson Remains a Key Contributor For the Knicks Despite Multiple Trade Rumors
Though Robinson’s name has circulated in trade speculations, he has maintained his steady production for the Knicks in preseason. He’s put up an efficient 80 percent effective field goal percentage in four contests and has not lost a step in the rebounding department, corralling 8.0 boards per game.
The Knicks owe their league-leading 45.9 points in the paint allowed on defense to Robinson contesting shots at the rim. New York hung their hats on the defensive end throughout the 2022-23 season and will be foundational in their playoff push this year.
New York does have several big men at head coach Tom Thibodeau’s disposal, including Isaiah Hartenstein and Jericho Sims. While moving Robinson would send away their defensive anchor, his production may be difficult to supplement.