Knicks Talk Mitchell Robinson Trade With Lottery Team: Report


he New York Knicks have held talks with the Washington Wizards involving center Mitchell Robinson, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.

“So the fact that Mitchell Robinson’s name has come up in some of the Knicks’ trade conversations with opposing teams isn’t all that surprising (The Wizards are among the teams whose talks with the Knicks have included dialogue on Robinson. I’m sure several other teams have talked to New York about Robinson, their 26-year-old starting center),” Begley wrote on June 23.

The Wizards have a hole in the middle after trading Daniel Gafford to the Dallas Mavericks at the trade deadline. They are projected to select young center Alex Sarr at No. 2 in the NBA Draft.

Robinson’s future with the Knicks is contingent on Isaiah Hartenstein’s free agency. Hartenstein is an unrestricted free agent and the Knicks are determined to bring him back following his breakout season.

The Knicks have Hartenstein’s early Bird rights, meaning they can go over the salary cap to re-sign him. However, because of this, they are only limited to offering him a maximum of four years, $72.5 million, according to ESPN’s front office insider Bobby Marks.

“If the Knicks decide to move Robinson this offseason, it would be surprising if they executed a trade before or during the NBA Draft,” Begley wrote.

3 More Teams Monitoring Center Market

Aside from the Wizards, three Western Conference playoff contenders are also shopping for a center.

“The Lakers, Grizzlies, and Pelicans are among the teams closely monitoring the center position this offseason. The Hawks have continued to gauge the market for Clint Capela. Yahoo! Sports earlier reported that the Knicks were gauging the market for Robinson,” Begley wrote.

The Knicks have started shopping Robinson around, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer, as Hartenstein is expected to return to New York.

“Hartenstein, at this moment, is now generally expected to return to New York, as the Knicks have contacted opposing teams about moving Mitchell Robinson, sources said,” Fischer wrote on June 21.

The Lakers are eyeing a center who can protect the rim and play next to Anthony Davis who will slide back to power forward, his preferred playing position. On the other hand, the Pelicans are likely to move on from Jonas Valanciunas this offseason while the Grizzlies have already traded Steven Adams.

Isaiah Hartenstein Over Mitchell Robinson

The Knicks flourished with Hartenstein as their starting center. He provided spacing and playmaking with a floater range that Robinson lacked in his game.

While Robinson was the much better interior defender, Hartenstein has made strides on that side of the ball during the shorthanded Knicks’ run to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Hartenstein joined Anthony Davis and Victor Wembanyama as the only players with 85 blocks and 85 steals in a season. He became the first player since Moses Malone in 1982 to record 12 offensive rebounds and five assists in a playoff game, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

In 64 starts, including the playoffs this season, Hartenstein averaged 9.1 rebounds, 8.6 points, 3.2 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.2 blocks.

Robinson’s lengthy injury history in contrast to Hartenstein’s durability is what made him expendable.

Robinson was the league’s top offensive rebounder over the last two seasons but he also missed 71 games during that span, which negated the marked improvement he’d shown.

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