New York Knicks rookie Mitchell Robinson was dominant at Summer League. How does he compare to past stars of the the annual event?
Before I write another word, this disclaimer must be proclaimed. I’m not saying that New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson is an amazing NBA player; he simply had a great Summer League.
Robinson has done enough to get minutes for the Knicks, however. If I’m head coach David Fizdale, I’m getting Robinson into elite shape so he’s ready to battle against the best in the world.
Robinson didn’t play at all at Western Kentucky last year. I assume his camp decided that sitting out was more beneficial for his growth. Probably not the right move, but who am I to judge.
The point is, Robinson is definitely out of shape—and he himself has said as much. Watching him during summer league showed that, as well. He also cancelled workouts leading up to the draft, because his agent felt his stamina was well below the standard.
Having said that, Mitchell Robinson has had one of the most important Summer Leagues in recent memory. His stock has risen so much, people are calling him the steal of the 2018 NBA Draft.
He set a record for most blocks per game in the summer league with 4, and offensive rebounds per game, with 6.2.
Robinson goes right up there with the best Summer League performers in recent memory, who moved their draft stock up the most.
5’9″, 150 pound Tyler Ulis, wasn’t expected to carry out much on the professional level after being drafted in the second round at 34th overall. His play during the 2016 Summer League thrust him into the Suns’ rotation.
Although he was recently cut by Phoenix, it is without question that Ulis has a spot in the NBA.
During the summer months, Ulis was a demon on the court, garnering Chris Paul comparisons. Love or hate the Summer League, the amount of speculation is hilarious.
If you don’t remember Kyle Anderson from the 2015 Summer League, then you were probably doing something other than watching fringe NBA players try to make a name for themselves.
Although Anderson had a whole year of NBA experience under his belt, he was extremely impressive at the 2015 Summer League. He received the MVP award after averaging 22.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.3 steals per game.
During his first season with San Antonio, Anderson only appeared in 33 games. Following his standout Summer League showing in 2015, he appeared in all but three games for the Spurs.
Dame Dolla has had one of the weirder recruiting routes through high school, college, and the pros. He was a two-star recruit who signed with Weber State in Ogden, Utah. He showed out so much at Weber State that the Trail Blazers took him with the sixth overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
Everyone in the world thought this was a reach. Harrison Barnes, who many people viewed as the next Kobe Bryant when he was coming out of high school, went a pick after Lillard.
Despite going sixth in the 2012 NBA Draft, Lillard had something to prove—and he sure did. Lillard averaged 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists per game.
These players have gone on to have strong NBA careers, solidifying places for themselves in the Association. Robinson played amazing this summer in Vegas, and he’s looking like the steal of the 2018 NBA Draft (along with Knox).
The New York Knicks have something special to work with.