New York Knicks: NBA trade deadline winners and losers

New York Knicks Damyean Dotson Allonzo Trier (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Damyean Dotson Allonzo Trier (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Winner: Mitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson had a role with the New York Knicks no matter what happened before the trade deadline. He’s still the team’s center of the future, and nothing could stop that — not even DeAndre Jordan‘s arrival via the Porzingis blockbuster.

Jordan will help Robinson as a mentor for the rest of the season. Maybe it extends into 2019-20, pending the Knicks opt to re-sign the veteran big man.

However, the former Western Kentucky commit is a winner because Enes Kanter‘s presence no longer exists on the roster.

Before New York released him, Kanter steadily dropped out of the rotation in a three-month span. In spurts, though, he reassumed the starting center spot and took 20 to 25 minutes off the bench.

Any bit of that broke into Robinson’s potential playing time. He doesn’t need 25 or 30 minutes yet, given his extremely raw talent, but Kanter’s presence, and need for minutes for most of the season, shrunk the first-year man’s on-court role. Without that presence, it should be smooth sailing for the rest of 2018-19, splitting time with Jordan.

Even by 2019-20, Robinson might not be ready for a full-time starting role, but his role can increase over the season’s final months, incrementally, and prepare for the future. He’s part of it, and the Knicks should be excited.