Mavericks’ lack of depth in playoffs highlights need for Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson

The Dallas Mavericks made it to the Western Conference Finals on the back of Luka Doncic, but are down 0-3 against the Golden State Warriors. Doncic can’t do it all, but there’s a player for the New York Knicks who goes by Mitchell Robinson who could end up being Dallas’ starting center in 2022-23.

If New York and Robinson don’t agree to a contract extension, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, although the Knicks do possess his Bird Rights.

The Mavericks are going to have a hard enough time finding a way to pay Jalen Brunson, who’s also set to be an unrestricted free agent, so Robinson might not be at the top of their list. But based on the way that Dallas has performed in the playoffs, he should be.

Doncic signed a five-year, $207.1 million extension with the Mavericks last year that’ll kick in during the 2022-23 season, so Dallas is strapped on cash. But the team’s performance in the playoffs should prove to Mark Cuban that the Mavericks have talent, but need a couple more pieces to be a true championship contender.

The Dallas Mavericks should be interested in Knicks center Mitchell Robinson.

The most likely route for Robinson to end up in Dallas would involve a sign-and-trade deal. The Mavericks have said that they’re not willing to cooperate in a sign-and-trade for Brunson, but that’d be a better option than letting the point guard walk for nothing.

And the longer that Dallas is in the postseason, the longer that wandering eyes from around the league will be on Brunson. For the Knicks to get him, they’d have to clear cap space first, but a sign-and-trade would be the best route.

If only things were as simple as a Brunson-Robinson swap. New York’s after a point guard and the Mavericks need a true center. Dallas hasn’t had an answer for Golden State’s center Kevon Looney, who had 12 rebounds in both Game 2 and 3.

In Sunday night’s 109-100 loss, the Mavericks were outrebounded 47-33. Doncic’s 40-point outing, which included 21 points in the fourth quarter, wasn’t enough.

Dallas’ issues on the glass have been magnified in the playoffs and with a player like Doncic, the Mavericks need to build a strong supporting crew around him.

Even as a Knicks fan, it’s been painful to watch Dallas fail to have a presence in the post. Someone like Robinson who protects the rim and can pull down rebounds would be a huge boost for the Mavericks. But the cost of acquiring Robinson (and trying to retain Brunson) would be too much for Dallas to bear.

Robinson to the Mavericks might be a long shot, but it’s an avenue that Cuban should at least explore. Dallas would have to part ways with a few players for it to happen, but the goal should be to win a championship now with Doncic. Players like him don’t come around often.