Summer League is around the corner and one New York Knicks rookie has the opportunity to make waves and answer many questions: Mitchell Robinson.
A few weeks ago, the New York Knicks selected Mitchell Robinson with the 36th pick in the second round of the 2018 NBA Draft. Robinson represents a big gamble for the Knicks, as he didn’t play college-level basketball. It’s unknown how much organized basketball he’s played since 2017.
Before he withdrew from Western Kentucky’s program, Robinson was a top 20 prospect. He was even expected to be a lottery pick.
Since he was unable to play college ball for a year and didn’t participate in the draft combine in Chicago, however, Robinson was a big question mark for front offices heading into the 2018 NBA Draft.
Given that this year’s Summer League will be the first time most people, including the Knicks, will see Robinson play since 2017, it will be the perfect opportunity to gauge if he’s NBA-ready.
Summer League will function as a first audition for the NBA for young Robinson.
If Robinson plays well and shows proper conditioning, then it’s likely that he’ll be a consistent member of the rotation, battling Luke Kornet for minutes as the backup center.
If Robinson doesn’t play well enough to impress Knicks brass, then he will probably spend a fair amount of the season in the G League with the Westchester Knicks.
Last season, Trey Burke followed a similar path, as he spent the majority of the first half of the season playing in the G League before being called up to the NBA roster.
If Robinson shows high levels of basketball IQ, athleticism, and the ability to space the floor in David Fizdale’s position-less system, then he’ll definitely get significant minutes with the Knicks.
With Summer League training currently on-going, all eyes will be on fellow rookie Kevin Knox when the Knicks debut this weekend.
While Knox’s performances will be important, Robinson’s showings will also be a good indicator of what Knicks fans should expect in the coming season.
This weekend will be important for the younger Knicks, as they’ll show us what to expect in the future.
With a roster full of impressive young athletes, there is sure to be some high-flying, rim-shaking action. So grab some popcorn and drinks as we enjoy the excitement of the New York Knicks at the 2018 Summer League.