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 2, 2020; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (23) goes in for a dunk over Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports /

3) He has clear room to develop

This is a major source of frustration for Knicks fans: we see Robinson’s potential; we understand that he is likely our most valuable asset; and yet, for two full seasons, we have seen him receive very little playing time.

The aforementioned 22 minutes per game must change this season. It’s time to take off the training wheels and give the budding star a chance at significant playing time. He deserves the chance to develop his talent, to learn to play while in foul trouble, and build game-level endurance.

Thankfully new head coach Tom Thibodeau is famous for playing his starters heavy minutes. Hopefully, this will give Robinson a chance to see a noticeable increase in minutes. By extension, this should also allow him to ascend to the rank of the league leaders in block shots. He could even lead the league as early as next season. He should also see a rise in his scoring and rebounding numbers.


Giving up on this type of talent in order to land one of the assets listed above seems like an incredibly short sided move. To be clear, I would consider trading Robinson under one set of circumstances: if the Knicks receive a young, franchise-caliber player in return. While stars like Westbrook, Oladipo, and DeRozan are quite skilled, they each carry baggage and question marks. They would help the Knicks contend for a postseason berth, but not a championship. These players could also likely be acquired for lesser assets.

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I am also not convinced the number two overall pick will land the team a generational talent. The Knicks front office would be wise to remove Robinson from any trade speculation and focus on building around him in 2021 and beyond.