The New York Knicks deeply valued center Mitchell Robinson under Steve Mills. Robinson was even made untouchable in Anthony Davis negotiations.
The New York Knicks found a gem of a second-round draft pick in center Mitchell Robinson. Selected at No. 36 overall, Robinson has quickly developed into one of the most feared rim protectors that the NBA has to offer.
Still just 22 years of age, it’s fair to state that Robinson is as close to an untouchable as any player who’s currently on the Knicks’ roster.
Former team president Steve Mills reportedly proved as much at the 2020 NBA trade deadline. It’s unclear how close to a trade the Knicks actually were, but it appears as though Mills refused to include Robinson when negotiating for a superstar in their prime.
Steve Mills and Scott Perry were not open to moving Robinson last year in any package that would have returned Anthony Davis, per sources. But Mills and Perry also drafted Robinson. Generally speaking, executives who draft a player are more reluctant to trade the prospect.
There are other factors to consider, including the widespread belief that Davis would end up in Los Angeles, but that’s a powerful endorsement of belief.
That untouchable status was established under a previous regime, but it remains relevant considering that Scott Perry is still the general manager. Furthermore, Robinson is a 22-year-old athletic anomaly who has displayed the potential for genuine dominance as a defender and offensive rebounder.
If Robinson can round his offensive skill set into form, then it stands to reason that he could potentially become one of the best big men in the Association.
Even if he fails to develop an offensive repertoire worth discussing, the tools are in place for Robinson to be a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate.
Robinson is currently averaging 9.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.0 offensive boards, 2.0 blocks, and 0.9 steals in just 23.1 minutes per game. That translates to 15.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 4.7 offensive boards, 3.0 blocks, and 1.3 steals per 36 minutes.
Robinson is also shooting 74.2 percent from the field, which would set the NBA’s all-time record for single-season field goal percentage.
It’s unclear if Leon Rose will invest as much into Mitchell Robinson as Steve Mills did, but the New York Knicks certainly have a player worth believing in.