Besides Bobby Portis clarifying it earlier this summer, Mitchell Robinson always should have opened the 2019-20 season as the starting center. It will just take training camp and an official word to announce this.
The young center did almost everything possible to show his promise as the New York Knicks’ starting center as a rookie. From his incredible feats of athleticism offensively to the prolific defensive play on blocked shots and covering ground, he is the next man in the middle, and not starting only takes away from his opportunities to grow.
Of course, Robinson is hardly a finished product, from the foul trouble still shown in summer league to the limited offensive game. He entered the NBA with time needed to develop, but if Year One proved anything, he started in the right direction and finished the season positively, including nearly three blocks over the season’s final 10 weeks.
Robinson may not receive too heavy of a workout, though, with Portis and Taj Gibson around to back him up. Other lineup combinations from the team’s glut of frontcourt players can also push the 2018 second-round pick to the bench if necessary, but he should still have the inside track at starting for most, if not the entire season.
The New York Knicks have an interesting group to use in the starting lineup. It may not be this five-player squad, but they have a more intriguing unit, with a mix of talented young players and veterans from outside situations.