NY Knicks: Picking up Mitchell Robinson’s option is an easy decision

Mitchell Robinson, NY Knicks. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Robinson, NY Knicks. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

The NY Knicks will have to make a few key decisions this offseason on some of their own players, including 23-year-old Mitchell Robinson.

While New York will have unrestricted free agents in Derrick Rose, Reggie Bullock, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel, they will also have to make a decision on what to do with Robinson, who could potentially be the team’s only restricted free agent.

NY Knicks: Picking up Mitchell Robinson’s option is an easy decision

Mitchell Robinson is entering the final year of his contract on a club option. Essentially, the NY Knicks have the option as to whether or not they want to sign Robinson to the final year of his rookie deal.

If they choose not to retain him, he will enter restricted free agency, where another team could throw him a large offer sheet, giving the Knicks the opportunity to match their multi-year offer.

If New York decides to pick up his option, it will cost them just 1.8 million against their salary cap for next season. Robinson would then become an unrestricted free agent in 2022 if he and the team do not reach a new deal.

Mitchell Robinson at 1.8 million is a terrific value, so allowing him to walk into restricted free agency doesn’t make very much sense.

It also lines up with Robinson’s current timeline. He’s in what appears to be a “prove it” year, as he looks to stay healthy and cement himself in 2021-22.

Mitchell Robinson made terrific strides into 2021, ranking among the top in the league in different rebounding and defensive metrics, but his season was frustratingly cut short by two separate injuries.

The two injuries happening back-to-back, along with his early-career knack for foul trouble have led to some unfair assumptions of Robinson being “injury-prone” and “not able to stay on the court.” This narrative has continuously popped up despite Robinson being 44th in the NBA among all qualified frontcourt players in personal fouls committed per 36 minutes in 2021. That’s not to mention that Robinson played in 61 of the team’s 66 games in 2019-20.

Still, Mitchell Robinson is going to have something to prove after missing the 2nd half of the team’s previous season and not being able to take part in the playoffs. The uber-talented big-man will look to pick up where he left off and continue to establish himself as a blossoming defensive anchor and rim-runner.

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