Mitchell Robinson has been tied to many trade rumors surrounding the New York Knicks in recent weeks, and the latest mock deal sends him to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for a standout two-way center.
Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz formulated a series of trades that could conceivably tip the scales in the NBA Finals race and has the Knicks dealing Robinson for Pacers big man Myles Turner and their 2024 top-10 protected first-round pick, saying:
“Turner is coming off a career year (18.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.3 blocks, 37.3 percent from three on 4.0 attempts per game) and would help open up the floor for a driving point guard like Jalen Brunson. This is important after the Knicks finished dead last among all playoff teams in three-point accuracy (29.2 percent) and next-to-last in made threes per game (9.5).”
Turner’s Range a Solution to Knicks’ Offensive Weaknesses
The Knicks’ 2.8 FGA were the fewest shot attempts among all pick-setters in 2022-23. Jalen Brunson and the rest of New York’s facilitators were able to get theirs off of screens, but their rollers were taken out of the equation.
Turner provides a viable solution to their woes in the half-court set. Not only did Turner rank No. 6 among all screen-setters with 4.4 points per game on 55.3 percent shooting, but he also dialed in 1.3 triples from the top of the key and the wing. Robinson remains a non-threat from outside and was barely looked for when diving to the rim.
Further, Turner’s 1.5 3-PM was triple that of all the attempts the Knicks centers took last season. It goes without saying that his marksmanship from outside provides an answer to New York’s middle-of-the-pack production from outside.
Turner’s high energy level and speed would also work wonders for a Knicks team that finished in the bottom five in pace. He scored well in transition and would give New York a trailing option on the fast break.
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Knicks Maintain Elite Defense With the Addition of Turner
On the defensive end, Turner’s rim protection rivals and even exceeds that of Robinson. He is a two-time NBA blocks leader and moves his feet well when switched onto smaller guards on the outside.
The Knicks hung their hat on the defensive end and were among the league leaders in several categories across the board. Turner has the tendency to foul a lot, committing 3.5 personal fouls per contest last year, but his work in deterring drives to the rim and sending back shots would make up for the absence of Robinson’s production in that department.
Turner makes an excess of $5 million more than Robinson annually over the next two seasons. The Knicks have roughly $170 million on the books but will be well under the cap from next season onward, giving them the opportunity to re-up Turner when his deal expires in the summer of 2025.