New York Knicks: Leon Rose lauds team’s young core

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

New York Knicks president Leon Rose was interviewed by MSG Networks’ Mike Breen Wednesday night on the “MSG 150 At Home.” The interview marked the first time Rose spoke publicly/virtually since joining the organization in February.

Among the many topics discussed were the team’s roster, which includes several young players and/or lottery selections. Rose said RJ Barrett, the Knicks’ 2019 first-round pick, and Mitchell Robinson, the Knicks’ 2018 second-round pick, are “two young core pieces.”

Barrett averaged 14.3 points, five rebounds and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 40.2 percent from the field and 32.0 percent from beyond the arc this season. Robinson averaged 9.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and two blocks per game while shooting an NBA-best 74.2 percent from the field.

Rose expressed excitement about some of the team’s other young players.

“I look forward to working with Kevin [Knox]. I think he’s just starting to scratch the surface,” Rose said. “Frank Ntilikina, given the right circumstances, I think can really prosper. And Dennis Smith, that’s a special talent right there.”

Knox, the Knicks’ 2018 first-round pick, averaged 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game while shooting 35.9 percent from the field and 32.7 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Ntilikina, the Knicks’ 2017 first-round pick, averaged 6.3 points and three assists per game while shooting 39.3 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Smith, acquired as part of the Knicks’ return in last season’s trade that sent Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks, averaged 5.5 points and 2.9 assists per game while shooting 34.1 percent from the field and 29.6 percent from beyond the arc this season.

Rose also referred to Julius Randle, who just finished the first season of a three-year, $63 million deal, as one of “some solid veterans” likely returning for the 2020-21 NBA season. Randle averaged 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 27.7 percent from beyond the arc.

Give Mitchell Robinson Not Just More Minutes, But More Plays Beyond the Paint

New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson

The New York Knicks seem to have no hope, a horrible future, a terrible owner, and even their biggest fans are losing hope. These are troubling times as a New York Knicks fan, and while I may not be the most attached to the New York Knicks, this still a New York team and it stinks to watch them in futility. This doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance for a turnaround, and one of those young pieces are Mitchell Robinson. The 7-foot behemoth is an offensive force in the paint and someone that can develop into a really good big with developing handles and an ability to be their dominant big in the future.

Value At Its Finest

Mitchell Robinson’s player value stats are pretty darn good, being 30th in Estimated Wins Added, 30th in Value Added, 16th in PER (Player Efficiency Rating), having 2.2 Defensive Win Shares, and a 1.8 VORP (Value Over Replacement Player). These numbers are despite only having the 147th most minutes played in 2019-2020 which is very good and despite his inability to create shots beyond the paint, (which is a product of the Knicks not having a good offensive scheme), he still is a very valuable player. He is someone that adds a huge presence to the court and his value stats tell you that he’s definitely better than just a bench player.

Stunting His Growth Beyond the Paint

The New York Knicks have to develop Robinson by opening him up to being a more versatile defender and a better spacer/shooter. He is allowing opponents to shoot 38% on him from 3, which isn’t good but that’s because the Knicks are not asking him or training him to be versatile. This could severely stunt his growth as the league isn’t about pure big men, it’s about versatility and spacing, and if the Knicks are not able to help Robinson make that transition then he will be reserved to a bench role in my opinion. It’s not like this is usual for Robinson as opponents score only 44.3% of Field Goals off of him, which is a solid number for Robinson.

Starting Robinson at Forward or Center would help him learn how to fix what is the worst AST% in the NBA as he only has a 13.3% USG rate, which is 182/193 players. Versatility is something not in Robinson’s skill set yet, and unless the Knicks play him more, it never will be.

Better Than What They Put Out There

What exactly is the improvement other than perimeter shooting (which Taj Gibson is still awful at) that Taj Gibson brings over Mitchell Robinson? How about Reggie Bullock? These are both players who play Forward positions for the Knicks, and both are significantly worse and on top of that aren’t part of the future. Mitchell Robinson has the teams highest PER by a country mile and is only 6th in minutes played?

How in God’s name will the Knicks see any improvements in Robinson if he’s getting fewer minutes than players who are significantly less valuable than him? Sure he isn’t versatile but there’s no way he can become versatile if he’s only supposed to be in the paint and never is supposed to learn how to be able to dish it out to better shooters because one, the Knicks have no reliable shooters, and two, they never want him doing those things because he’s supposed to play the 5. If the Knicks find a way to screw up the development of a 7 foot 240-pound beast then I don’t know what I’d say.

Give Robinson more minutes and let him play a Forward/Center hybrid to allow him to become a more versatile player and less of a pure big man.

Mitchell Robinson shouldn’t expand his game for the New York Knicks yet

New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson has improved each of the first two seasons with the New York Knicks. Videos surfaced before the season of Robinson working on his 3-point shot.  However, does he really need to expand his game like that already?

Robinson has been a beast for the Knicks.  He has, still has, a giant upside in his game.  But there’s plenty of more work to be done to fine tune his game.

This seasons he’s improved controlling his fouls, his field-goal efficiency and overall defense.  The Knicks have a center on the verge of becoming one of the best, young centers in the league.

Robinson needs to continue work on getting softer touch around the basket.  Yes, his field-goal percentage, 73.2%, is currently in front of Wilt Chamberlain’s all-time record of 72.7% for the Los Angles Lakers in 1972-73.  But Robinson is only in his second season and needs to continue to work on finishing around the basket with something other than dunks or alley-oops.

Robinson shooting is shooting 58% from the free-throw line for his career.  Before there’s any talk of him shooting the ball from behind the arc, let’s get the free-throw percentage up first.

The Knicks still need him to work on more defensive consistencies as well.  Instead of trying to block every shot near him, Robinson can work on deterring shooters to pass by using those freakish lengthy arms.  Masters the basics before there’s any talk of expansion.

Robinson’s game will get there in time.  After he master’s everything around the rim then he can start to work on, at least, a mid-range.  Until that time comes, the New York Knicks shouldn’t be having Robinson even practicing 3-pointers.

NBA super-agent sees bright future for New York Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks‘ center Mitchell Robinson has received a lot of praise since being drafted in the 2nd round in the 2018 NBA Draft. The second-year rim protector made a splash and signed with a new agent by the name of Rich Paul back in February. Paul, one of the highest-profile sports agents in the world, has a clear vision for his new client.

While Mitchell Robinson’s potential is something New York Knicks’ fans should be excited about, he’s still clearly a raw player finding his game. Rich Paul seems to share those same thoughts. Paul told the New York Post:

“At this level, talent will get you only so far. You have to understand schemes defensively, very detailed things like the art of setting screens, the art in decision-making as a big man in how you roll. What passes to look for, proper defensive adjustments.”

“It’s a lot of things to learn. Once he’s able to learn those things, he’ll then be in position to showcase other talents he has. He can take the outside shot, put the ball on the floor, post. You don’t want to rush into that. You have to understand the details of the game first.”

Paul, who is known for his partnership with LeBron James, seems to have a realistic and knowledgeable view of where Robinson currently stands in his career. Robinson, who didn’t play organized basketball in the year prior to joining the NBA,  has all of the physical tools and instincts you could ask for in a center.

Knicks fans should be encouraged about Robinson’s new representation. Now, it is up to Robinson and the Knicks to put in the proper work to get him to his ceiling.

The New York Knicks need to continue to build through the draft

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

Rumors about the New York Knicks trading for a superstar is back.  SNYS Ian Begley reports that one member in the front believes, “It’s the best path for us.”

This is not the first time, or last, that these rumors will circulate.  It seems like every single season they’re reports of the Knicks trading for a superstar.  However, it never happens.

The Knicks have traded, and tried, to trade for superstars in the past.  The most recent was when the team traded for Carmelo Anthony.  Anthony gave the Knicks plenty of great years and memories.  But it didn’t get them a championship.  He did his best though.

While one member in the Knicks front office believes “it’s the best path” to go, it may not be the right one.

The, real, best path for the Knicks to take is continue to build through the draft.  The old way of trying and hoping for a superstar to come to New York and to turn the organization around is over.

Not many players, well established players, want to play for the Knicks.  They want to win and win now.  The Knicks aren’t winning. Unfortunately, what Kevin Durant said might be true, “The Knicks aren’t cool.”  Players want to go to a organization that is cool and have a less dysfunctional front office.

Therefore, the best way to go forward is building through the draft, which they’ve done a nice job the past few years.  The Knicks have two great building blocks in place with RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.  Hopefully other young players like Kevin Knox, Frank Ntilikina can take bigger steps to be in the teams future.

Also, the Knicks have solid prospects in the G-league waiting for their chance, Ignas Brazdeikia, Kenny Wooten and Lamar Peters.

The Knicks should have a top 5 pick in the draft which should be another great building block.  Stay the course building through the draft.  That’s the best path for the New York Knicks right now.

New York Knicks: How realistic is a trade for Jazz star Donovan Mitchell?

New York Knicks, Donovan Mitchell

Would the New York Knicks be looking to trade for Donovan Mitchell amid relationship issues with Rudy Gobert?

If only Rudy Gobert didn’t go around touching microphones and teammates as an ill-advised joke before the coronavirus pandemic became an established force. Gobert’s relationship with Mitchell Robinson has reportedly disintegrated, opening up a doorway for a lowly team like the Knicks to pounce on one of the league’s young stars.

However, it would take a lot more than the Knicks are willing to offer to land Mitchell. Reports have indicated that the Jazz would need RJ Barrett or Mitchell Robinson and two first-round picks to land the star guard.

SNY’s Ian Begley stated regarding a potential deal:

If Mitchell were to seek a trade from the Jazz, one opposing executive, speculating, said that any Knicks package would probably have to include either RJ Barrett or Mitchell Robinson, and two first-round picks (one of them unprotected). So if you are putting together potential Knicks trade packages for Mitchell, it makes sense to start there. And, obviously, if Utah was trading Mitchell and keeping Gobert, the club wouldn’t want to deal for Robinson.

That’s an interesting point — there would be no need for Robinson with Gobert already on the team, a premium level center with elite defensive attributes. Barrett would have to be included, and the Knicks aren’t looking to deal the 3rd overall pick from the 2019 NBA draft.

To conclude, this deal ‘isn’t’ realistic by any means, and the Knicks will likely never touch Donovan Mitchell. They’re better off waiting for free agency next season and pursing a star player like Anthony Davis instead of trading away youth pieces for Mitchell. An alternative argument would be — trade for Mitchell now, sign Davis and solidify two elite players to build a foundation around.

Julius Randle’s and others future with the New York Knicks

The New York Knicks have the rumor mill spinning.  The big names that are rumored to being linked to the Knicks are now Joel Embiid and Donovan Mitchell.  Also, the possibility of shipping Julius Randle is back in the news.

NY Post’s Marc Berman suggests that Leon Rose could be open trading Randle, despite his CAA relationship.  The Knicks could’ve traded Randle to Charlotte before the trade deadline but they didn’t pull the trigger.

Knicks fans appear be on board with trading Randle.  He doesn’t fit the system and holds onto the ball to long.  Randle tends to play more one-on-one ball than team ball.  His shooting also regressed only making 27.7% of his attempts.  Randles play is only hurting the development of RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.

Some Knicks teammates expressed their disgust with his play as well.  It’s odd to want to trade away a player that averages 19 points and 9 boards but it hasn’t panned out like people thought.

Rose has to decide if Randle is a fit for the future with the Knicks.  As of right now, if doesn’t seem like Randle will be in mix.  He’ll not brought back after his contract is up after the 2021-22 season if he remains a Knick.

More rumors that shouldn’t be talked about are trading for Donovan Mitchell and Joel Embiid.  The Sixers are open to dealing Embiid but will want a haul.  The same goes for Mitchell.  It’ll take a lot more than Barrett or Robinson and 2 upcoming 1st round picks, like hypothetical trade talks have suggested.  If the Knicks were to trade for either, there won’t be any good players left to pair with.

The best thing for Rose to do is build around Barrett and Robinson.  Fans will have to deal with one more season of Randle unless Rose has some tricks up his sleeve.  The New York Knicks need Rose to make some magic happen for them to be contenders in the near future.

The New York Knicks hit a home-run with Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson

The New York Knicks are in the midst of developing a future all-star.  Mitchell Robinson greatly improved his game this season despite the season being cut short due to COVID-19.

Throughout his first two seasons with Knicks, Robinson is already in elite NBA company.  This season he’s trying to break Wilt Chamberlains record of highest field goal percentage.  Robinson is shooting 73.2% and Chamberlain shot 72.7% in 1972-73 for the Los Angeles Lakers.  It all depends on what happens with this NBA season to determine if he’ll be the record holder or not.

The second-year Knicks center is also one of seven players in NBA history have blocked more than points.  He’s blocked over 250 shots and scored more than 1,000 points.  This all comes with shooting over 52% as well.  Robinson joins the likes of Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, David Robinson, Hassan Whiteside, Hakeem Olajuwon and Anthony Davis.

If that wasn’t enough.  Robinson is the only player in NBA history to have made enough field goals to qualify for the league leaders and shot 74.2% in a season.

The Knicks have a real gem in Robinson.  Despite not playing many minutes, only 21.8 per in his career, he continues to be a future building block for the franchise.  His minutes will only go up with his developmental progress.

He was a second-round pick which came with uncertainty.  Robinson basically came right out of high school.  He enrolled at Western Kentucky but after a suspension for violating team rules, he decided to forgo college to prepare for the NBA.  The Knicks selected him and freakish athleticism.

In his 2018 debut, Robinson set summer league records for blocked shots and offensive rebounds.  He earned a multi-year contact with the Knicks and the rest is history.

He continues to improve each game for the Knicks while only being 22-years old.  Robinson is only going to get better.  He’s already improving by controlling his fouls and all other aspects of his game.  Soon enough, if not already, he’ll be one of the best, young big men in the association.  The New York Knicks hit a home-run with taking a chance on Mitchell Robinson.

3 moves the New York Knicks have interest in for the off-season

With the NBA season in limbo, the New York Knicks rumors are starting to circulate.  The newest one is the likelihood of the team picking up Reggie Bullock’s contract for next season.

Add this rumor to the other Knicks ones thus far.  One’s that are already swirling are interest in signing free-agent big man Christian Wood and bringing back Maurice ‘Moe’ Harkless.

While these are only a few, these aren’t big headlines for next season.  It could be give fans that odd feeling that the lineup could be similar to begin next season despite their high upcoming draft pick.  Hopefully there’s a lot of changes that’ll happen in Leon Rose’s first season.

As much as Knicks fans might dislike the rumors of the team going after the biggest names in free agency, at least it’s something. Now we know that the season isn’t over but in a time with no sports, fans need something to talk about.  Resigning players that have no future with the team doesn’t move the needle.

However, this could be a good thing. Rose said that he’ll be move behind the scenes when it comes to Knicks.  So these rumors could be click-bait.  The team is always in the news whether it’s good or bad.  So, being quieter and behind the scenes could be for the best.  Just got to hope that the Knicks owner falls in suit with taking a more quite approach.

The Knicks are always linked to the biggest names in the NBA whether they’re partially true or not.  We all know about last off-season with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.  However, it seems like a good move considering how much of a headache those two can be despite their talent.  A few months go, the Giannis Antetokounmpo rumors were hot and that’ll start again after next season.

The interest in Christian Wood makes the most sense.  Wood is has freakish athleticism for a big man who can shoot from behind the arc.  He’ll also be an upgrade defensively which would pair nicely with Mitchell Robinson.  Bringing back Harkless is a possibility since he’s young but Bullock is a toss up.  Leon Rose will have his hands full in his first season with the New York Knicks.

New York Knicks Robinson wants to know if he beat Wilts record

New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks second-year center Mitchell Robinson tweeted out a big question this past Sunday.  “Does this mean I broke the FG record the season? 👀

Robinson has been chasing Wilt Chamberlain’s field-goal record when he was with the Los Angles Lakers.  Chamberlain shot .727 for the Lakers in 1972-73.  Before the coronavirus swept the entire world, Robinson had a league best percentage of .742.  He has been one of the only bright spots for the Knicks this season.

The league minimum to be eligible the record is 300 attempts.  Robinson has 341 attempts while making 253 of them.  The Knicks have numerous highlights, blocks and jaw-dropping dunks from Robinson to get them through this non-basketball time.

It’s still unsure whether the NBA will return this season due to the worldwide pandemic.  But, if the season was to come to an end early, the numbers could be adjusted to follow the condensed season.  If so, the Knicks big-man could be the record holder.

Robinson certainly deserves a lot of credit for the big step forward he took this season.  He’s showed the Knicks organization why he was untouchable at the deadline.

Everything about his game has improved.  Blocking, field goals, obviously, but most of all his ability to control his fouling.  The New York Knicks have a great centerpiece to build upon for the future and Robinson is only going to get better.