New York Knicks: Why Mitchell Robinson should not be on the trade block

Knicks Rumors, Knicks, Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
Knicks Rumors, Knicks, Mitchell Robinson (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images) /
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Mar 10, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Washington Wizards guard Shabazz Napier (5) shoots the ball as New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) defends in the fourth quarter at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

1) He is a potential future Defensive Player of the Year

This is not hyperbole. Fans have seen glimpses of Robinson’s potential during his first two seasons in the NBA. Despite playing just 22 minutes per game since his debut, he recorded the fourth most blocked shots (161) in his rookie season and sixth highest total (119) in his sophomore campaign.

His 7-foot-1 frame and incredible 7’4″ wingspan allow him to be one of the few true game-changing paint protectors in the modern NBA. He forces the opposing offense to adapt every time he sets foot on the court.

However, Robinson’s defensive potential goes far beyond his shot-blocking powers. He is also remarkably agile for a player of his size. This trait separates the top-tier defensive big men from the rest of the positional competition. Most seven footers make an impact around the rim. However, very few have the ability to stay with quicker wing players when they are caught on a switch.

This is an area where Robinson excels. And where he can continue to grow and develop. While most players his size look awkward as they move and run, Robinson has an uncommon fluidity and grace. His adequate foot speed combined with his length and athleticism make him capable of steadying the defense in any situation.