The Knicks are reportedly ready to offer a multi-year extension to keep Robinson in New York.
“The Knicks are widely regarded as a team looking to shed a number of contracts (such as those possessed by Alec Burks, Kemba Walker and Nerlens Noel) to create salary-cap space for the potential free-agent pursuits of Dallas’ Jalen Brunson and perhaps even (gasp) Brooklyn’s Kyrie Irving. Yet Monday night also delivered the strongest rumbles I’ve heard to date that a new multiyear deal to keep Mitchell Robinson in New York is looming,” Marc Stein wrote.
The Knicks have until June 30 to lock up Robinson to an extension, or they would risk losing him in the open market. The former second-round pick who blossomed into a rim-running center and a defensive stalwart with the Knicks is eligible to sign an extension worth up to $55.6 million over four years.
While it was widely reported after the trade deadline that there is a wide gap between Robinson’s asking price and what the Knicks are willing to pay, all signs point to a resolution.
The Knicks’ reported plan to trade Noel this summer is a clear sign that they are looking to retain Robinson. They remained heavily invested in Robinson as they continued their annual practice of sending team personnel to monitor Robinson’s offseason workout in Louisiana.
Robinson also expressed his desire to remain with the Knicks in not-so-subtle signs on his social media account. First, he wore a “New York or Nowhere shirt during his visit to his high school principal. Then, he followed that up with a social media post of New York with an interesting caption, “home.”
Home is where Mitchell Robinson’s heart is. pic.twitter.com/pSYmXM688T
— alder almo (@alderalmo) May 29, 2022
Robinson’s market has shrunk after the Dallas Mavericks traded for Houston Rockets’ big man Christian Wood. Teams needing a center are reportedly eyeing Utah Jazz’s three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert or Phoenix Suns’ restricted free agent Deandre Ayton. It’s getting clearer that Robinson is only a fallback option for teams with cap space like the Detroit Pistons.
Robinson is back in Louisiana working out with his trainer Marcell Scott, Jr., with a focus on his free throw shooting. Their goal is to improve Robinson’s free throw shooting percentage to 80. Last season, Robinson shot 48.6 percent.
A tall task. But if Robinson can dramatically improve in that area, it will be worth the extension.
Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo