The New York Knicks have a gem in 2018 second-round pick, Mitchell Robinson. Could he eventually become this class’s best player?
New York Knicks fans have had to sit through another losing year but not all is bad as they will pick no lower than fifth in the draft and may have gotten the steal of the draft in 2018, Mitchell Robinson. Yes, Kevin Knox has shown some promises in his rookie year but Robinson has shown something special. The late second-round pick — the 36th overall selection — has improved as the year progressed and has even become the starter, So why does he not get as much love as the other rookies in this draft?
The debate the last two-to-three months has been who should win Rookie of the Year, Luka Doncic or Trae Young? But Robinson has quietly become one of the most impactful rookies in the game the second half of the season. Since the All-Star break Robinson, is averaging 9.4 points 9.7 rebounds and 3.1 blocks all due to a rise in playing time by eight minutes per a game and being named the starter.
On top of that, he has crept into the top three in all the important stat categories, like win shares, PER and VORP.
These numbers, tell us that Robinson is one of the most impactful rookies in the game. Offensively he may not be that polished, mostly a roller to the basket but on defense he is just a nightmare to go against. An example can be seen here.
As seen, he fits the mold of today’s centers. His ability to step out and guard smaller players, makes him a difference maker on the defensive end. He leads the NBA in Three-Point Blocks with 24, so very comfortable contesting guards when he gets switched on to them. His ceiling is a combination of Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordon. It was huge for the Knicks to acquire Jordan, someone who can show Robinson a few tricks and tips to take his game to the next level.
Oh, by the way, he is second in the NBA in blocks at 2.48 despite playing eight fewer minutes per a game than the guys ahead of him. He would average 1.2 more blocks than every other player in the league, when you convert it to per 48min. On top of that he continues his streak of at least two blocks in 29 consecutive games.
The abilities on defense have been very evident in his rookie season. The next step is the offense, if he can add a jump-hook and some play-making ability, he could vault in the conversation of the premier centers in the league. At only age 21, the sky is the limit for this second round pick and someone that should not be forgotten in this draft class. Robinson deserves more spotlight in this draft and has the potential to be the best player from this class, and it’s a win for the New York Knicks.