The day after a disappointing loss to the Wizards, New York Knicks fans learned that Mitchell Robinson had undergone surgery earlier that morning to repair his fractured right thumb. Robinson suffered the injury in the first quarter against Washington, but it was surprising to learn that the injury required surgery.
Robinson, who signed a four-year, $60 million deal in the offseason, will be re-evaluated in three weeks. The news couldn’t come at a worse time as the Knicks will play four of their final six games of January on the road against challenging opponents, starting with the Hawks on Friday night in Atlanta. New York will then go to Toronto before returning to MSG to host Cleveland before going to Boston and Brooklyn, and then wrapping the month up with a home game against LeBron James and the Lakers.
Currently, the Knicks sit in playoff range at No. 6 in the Eastern Conference with a 25-21 record. Given New York’s upcoming schedule, now’s not the time to be without your starting center, but that’s something that the Knicks will have to try to overcome.
Robinson was sidelined for eight games earlier in the season when he sprained his knee against Philadelphia. New York went 4-4 in his absence. The 24-year-old has dealt with a series of injuries in the past, but last season, he played in a career-high 72 games. Hopefully, he’ll recover quickly and will be able to get back on the floor sooner rather than later.
In the meantime, here are three things that the Knicks must do as they proceed without Robinson.
3 things the Knicks must do after brutal Mitchell Robinson injury news
3: Consider adding a center ahead of trade deadline
With there being a little less than three weeks left until the Feb. 9 trade deadline, that means Mitchell Robinson likely won’t be back before then. By the time he returns to the court, he could be playing with a couple of new teammates for the first time.
The Knicks are expected to be one of the more active teams ahead of the deadline with names like Zach LaVine and Gary Trent Jr. popping up in trade rumors. However, with Robinson out for at least a few weeks and Isaiah Hartenstein’s disappointing play, New York needs to consider adding another center to the roster.
We know how much the Knicks like to do deals with the Mavericks, so JaVale McGee is a player that New York may express interest in. He’s on the decline, but he’d be a stopgap option. Then there’s also Mo Bamba, the Harlem native, that could be traded over the next few weeks. He’s making $10.3 million this season and has a $10.3 million non-guaranteed option in 2023-24.
The Knicks have been linked to Jae Crowder, too. He hasn’t played in a game for the Suns this season because he wasn’t given the extension that he wanted. Crowder is making $10.2 million this season and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
You can just about bet that the front office has already planned to inquire about a couple of players if they haven’t done so already.