NY Knicks: Can Mitchell Robinson stay healthy?
Last season, with Mitchell Robinson on the floor, the Knicks had a team defensive rating of 108.2 while having a 109.6 rating with him off the floor per StatMuse. While this isn’t a massive difference, it shows that the Knicks are just as good defensively regardless of whether or not he is on the court.
One reason why the Knicks need to actively shop Mitchell Robinson is due to his inability to stay healthy. Throughout the NBA there is a very prominent saying that says that the best ability is availability, which is extremely accurate, especially when deciding which players deserve a massive payday.
With that being said, this season is a contract year for Robinson and because of his promising potential, there is a very good chance he wants a significantly bigger contract. Due to his tendency to miss a handful of games every single year despite his talent, there just isn’t enough to warrant a long-term contract.
According to Basketball Reference, Mitchell Robinson played 31 out of 72 games in 2020 and only started 7 games out of 61 games played the year prior. Robinson’s lack of availability has been extremely alarming to the team over the years.
Being that the Knicks just recently gave star forward Julius Randle a massive contract and rising star RJ Barrett’s big payday is rapidly approaching, giving Robinson a long-term contract is a very bad idea.
In order to justify giving a player a large contract they need to show not only talent and potential, but also longevity. It is very difficult to weigh a player’s importance to the team without a large sample size of playing time and consistency.
While Robinson has shown untapped potential, he simply hasn’t given the Knicks enough of a sample size of being able to keep up his stellar defensive play on a consistent basis.