The Jrue Holiday trade sweepstakes was a hot topic for several days after the shocking Damian Lillard-Bucks deal that shook up the Eastern Conference. The New York Knicks were one of the teams interested in Holiday, but the Celtics swooped in to land the 33-year-old.
Boston gave up Robert Williams, Malcolm Brogdon, a 2024 first-round pick via Golden State, and an unprotected 2029 first-round pick. That’s a steep price for Holiday, who has a player option after this season but is expected to sign a long-term extension with the Celtics.
It made sense for Boston to be aggressive in its pursuit of Holiday, not New York. The Knicks wouldn’t have been considered a championship contender even with the former Bucks guard. Plus, with the Celtics giving up Williams, the Knicks would’ve likely had to do the same with Mitchell Robinson.
SNY’s Ian Begley reported that Robinson’s name was mentioned when New York reached out about Holiday.
"Robinson’s name came up in the Knicks’ talks with Portland about a potential Jrue Holiday trade, per SNY sources. Obviously, nothing came to fruition there, but any team talking to the Knicks about a significant deal will probably ask about Robinson. He’s young, productive and on a reasonable contract."
Mitchell Robinson’s name “came up” in Knicks’ trade talks for Jrue Holiday
Mitchell Robinson is five and a half months younger than Robert Williams, so he would’ve fit perfectly with Portland’s rebuilding phase. Both were drafted in 2018, with Williams going off the board at No. 27 (first round) and Robinson at No. 36 (second round).
Robinson’s dealt with his fair share of injuries, but Williams has a more extensive injury history. He hasn’t played in more than 61 games in a regular season (2021-22), while Robinson has done so three times. The Knicks center was close to doing so in 2022-23 but narrowly missed the cutoff with 59 games.
Williams receives more recognition than Robinson, but maybe that’ll change this season. New York wouldn’t have made it past the first round of the playoffs without Robinson, who outplayed Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. In the two preseason games the Knicks have played, Robinson scored a combined 18 points (9-of-10) and 14 rebounds in a total of 44 minutes. He’s been dominant.
Ian Begley mentioned that if New York trades for Joel Embiid or Karl-Anthony Towns, Robinson will likely be out the door. That would be a given, but fans should be rooting against a Towns trade. Between his contract, injury history, and lack of playoff experience, the Knicks are better off with Robinson.
Quentin Grimes is a player who has been labeled as a breakout candidate this season, but don’t forget about Mitchell Robinson. He’s proven that he shouldn’t be ignored.