The New York Knicks are seeing the best of center Mitchell Robinson to start 2022. The veteran big man is preparing to finish his rookie contract with the Knicks after the season concludes, making him a free agent and available to sign with other teams on the open market.
However, over four games, Robinson is averaging 11 points, 13.5 rebounds, and shooting 64.5% from the field this month. In January, Robinson averaged 10.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and an 82.6% success rate from the field. Based on his astronomical growth, the Knicks may be heavily considering extending him before he hits free agency.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau is a huge advocate for Robinson, who recently stated that he wasn’t even full strength yet, still working on his stamina after missing the majority of the 2020 campaign due to numerous injuries.
Teammate RJ Barrett raves about Mitchell’s performance lately:
“He’s just healthy,’’ RJ Barrett said. “Now you’re seeing a guy getting in a groove. He’s such a gift offensively and defensively. Eight blocks is incredible and all the offensive rebounds.… Sometimes I just shoot it because I know he’s going to get it.’’
The Knicks haven’t given Robinson the freedom to take shots and utilize his underrated ball skills, but he still manages to produce adequate scoring performances around the rim on dunks.
Mitchell is considered an old-school center with his physical mentality around the rim. He’s exactly the type of player that Thibodeau loves to have inside, making him valuable if the Knicks plan to continue on with Thibs as their head coach for the foreseeable future.
Robinson drew significant interest at the deadline from teams like the Detroit Pistons, but the Knicks elected to stay put and settled for Cam Reddish as their only acquisition. Coming off the deadline, the Knicks overcame the Golden State Warriors at their arena on Thursday night, with Randle producing seven points and 11 rebounds.
The 23-year-old center will look to continue his impressive streak of games to start the new year, and if he’s able to, it will be incredibly difficult for the front office not to retain him on a multi-year deal.