Oen of the New York Knicks’ best players to start the new year has been center, Mitchell Robinson. Robinson has enjoyed a consistent bout of health in recent days, averaging 10.6 points, 9.1 rebounds, and an 82.6% field-goal rate in the month of January.
With Robinson finally hitting his stride and showcasing consistent health, his value to the team has skyrocketed, making him an even more attractive trade piece if the Knicks are looking for a more established point guard to help manage the team’s offense.
However, Robinson has played so well recently that losing him would open up a major hole in the defensive side. In fact, against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, Robinson had arguably his best game of the season, recording 14 points, 11 rebounds, and a career-high eight blocks.
The 23-year-old big man has indicated he’s close to being at full strength, which is why his numbers have seen such a stratospheric rise.
“Not all the way yet, but close to it,’’ Robinson said. “Once I get back in shape I’m going to be a problem.
What you expect I missed 8 months with no offseason nor no training camp I went straight into playing
— Mitchell Robinson (@23savage____) February 3, 2022
Robinson shot back at a fan who indicated that after halfway through the season, it’s a little late to just be making this type of impact.
Third-year guard RJ Barrett has continued to rise as well, but offered a glowing review regarding Mitch, noting his recent health and groove.
“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.’’ – Via Marc Berman of The Post.
The Knicks’ front office has a big decision to make at the deadline: do they want to sell on young players who have value, or get rid of big contracts?
In recent days, reports have indicated that the Knicks are keen on ridding themselves of several big deals they signed this plast off-season. That would essentially be waving the white flag on the season, but they do have the trade capital to make a significant move and put them in a position to make the playoffs.
The debate is, would simply making the playoffs be enough if they realistically can’t contend for a championship?
The Knicks might be better off getting rid of the big contracts and resetting for next season with their youth at the forefront.
If that is the case, retaining Robinson and extending him might be a more productive strategy.