The New York Knicks selected enigmatic center Mitchell Robinson at No. 36 overall in the 2018 NBA Draft. David Fizdale says Robinson has shown no signs of rust.
The New York Knicks selected Mitchell Robinson with the No. 36 overall selection at the 2018 NBA Draft. It was a surprising decision, as Robinson opted to forego his freshman year of college, thus going a full year without playing competitive basketball.
As Robinson enters a practice setting with the Knicks, however, head coach David Fizdale has already made a stunning observation about the incoming rookie.
Robinson was one of the top 10 recruits in the country coming out of high school. In addition to taking the 2017-18 college basketball season off, however, he left scouts in a state of confusion by skipping the 2018 NBA Draft Combine.
According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, coach Fizdale made a significant observation about Robinson following a Las Vegas practice: He’s yet to show signs of rust.
"“No, I have not seen rust. As crazy as it is. I was just talking to [player developmental director] Craig Robinson about it. I was going to think this kid’s timing would be off or there would be a lot of stuff we have to stop for him and teach. Kid’s got pretty good feel for the game.”"
Only time will tell what Robinson is capable of on an NBA court, but it’s hard to read this quote without feeling some measure of excitement.
Robinson stands around the 7’0″ mark and boasts a 7’4″ wingspan, which is reason enough to believe in his upside. He’s also one of the most fluid and explosive athletes in this draft class, which adds an entirely new level to his untapped potential.
What may be most impressive of all, however, is that a brutally honest coach in Fizdale is praising the rookie’s feel for the game.
The development of NBA-caliber fundamentals and skills will be essential, but Fizdale’s praise makes it seem as though Robinson may already be a quality player.
The general consensus is that, had Robinson played a year in college, he would’ve been in the lottery discussion. He was revered in high school for his shot-blocking ability, as well as his steady development into a modern offensive big man.
Instead, Robinson is a second-round draft pick whom the Knicks will have a chance to evaluate at Summer League and potentially utilize as an impact rookie.
One can only hope the New York Knicks will soon lock Mitchell Robinson up long-term.