With the NBA trade deadline just four days away, the New York Knicks could get involved with a last-second deal. Up to this point, teams have been relatively quiet, but moves have been in a flurry, especially with the deadline about to expire.
The Knicks have been linked to a number of teams and players, notably Jerami Grant from the Detroit Pistons, De’Aaron Fox from Sacramento, and Jalen Brunson from Dallas.
Whether or not the front office decides to make any lucrative acquisitions is yet to be seen, but there’s definitely interest to unload big contracts and add a point guard to help smooth over Derrick Rose’s loss for the next few weeks.
The Knicks have one valuable asset:
One player who has elevated his stock tremendously is center in Mitchell Robinson, who’s had a tremendous start to 2022.
According to SNY reporter Ian Begley, the Detroit Pistons are intrigued by Robinson’s services:
The Detroit Pistons are among the teams who’ve had a degree of interest in the 23-year-old, per SNY sources. Robinson would fit the team’s desire to find players on the same timeline as rookie Cade Cunningham. It’s unknown if Detroit would pursue Robinson via trade or if the club would only consider him if/when he hits free agency.
In the month of January, Robinson averaged 10.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, 0.9 blocks, and connected on 82.6% of his shots from the field. Out of 13 total games, Robinson recorded six with double-digit points, including a high of 17 against the New Orleans Pelicans on January 20.
Tom Thibodeau provided a glowing review of Mitchell Robinson this season, harping on his dominance around the rim:
“The rim protection is elite. Offensively, putting pressure on the rim has been really good. Finishing through contact has been really, really good. Very pleased overall with his progress and I think there’s a lot of room for growth,” the coach said. “….He’s got gifts that are special. He can cover a lot of ground, he can be out (on the perimeter) and get back (to the paint), drop with the roller (when defending the pick-and-roll), protect the rim. Change shots (at the rim); people are always looking for him (at the rim). I think he’s gaining experience now where he can see things even earlier so I think he’ll continue to grow.”
With Robinson finally 100% healthy and enjoying continuity, his game has finally reached a productive level. He’s not at peak performance just yet, but there’s no question he would be a valuable trade piece if the Knicks elected to move him at the deadline.
There’s always the other side of the equation where the front office extends Robinson and use him as a long-term solution at center.