Michael Scotto of HoopsHype spoke to five executives about Mitchell Robinson‘s value as the Knicks center nears unrestricted free agency and came away the impression that a deal in the mid-level range ($10MMish) might be on the low end for Robinson this offseason. Generally speaking, the projected range for the big man was closer to $12-13MM per year, according to Scotto.
As Scotto notes, Robinson doesn’t have a perimeter game and has dealt with a series of injuries in his first four NBA seasons, but his ability to protect the rim on defense and finish around the basket on offense makes him valuable. The Knicks will presumably want to avoid losing him for nothing in free agency, which could give him some leverage in contract negotiations.
“One executive told me, ‘I think the Knicks re-sign him and maybe overpay to do so to keep him as an asset. It’ll be a tough negotiation given what they gave Nerlens Noel,’” Scotto told Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News on the HoopsHype podcast.
One exec told Scotto he could see Robinson getting $15MM per year if there’s outside competition for his services. Bondy has heard the Pistons and Mavericks mentioned as possible suitors, and Scotto agrees that the Pistons will be in the mix, especially if they’re unable to seriously contend for a higher-level target like Suns RFA Deandre Ayton.
Here’s more on the Knicks from Scotto and Bondy:
- Scotto has spoken to multiple executives who believe Nerlens Noel could be back on the trade block this summer after popping up in trade rumors prior to last month’s deadline. Bondy, meanwhile, notes that Evan Fournier was one of the names the Knicks were “kicking around” before the deadline, indicating that he’ll probably still be a trade candidate going forward. “Given the right opportunity and price, he’s a guy they’d move on from,” Bondy said.
- Bondy downplayed the Julius Randle trade rumors that surfaced prior to the deadline, suggesting the Knicks never really considered selling low on the veteran forward this season. “There might have been some calls here and there, but nothing ever got serious at all,” Bondy said.
- Both Scotto and Bondy expect the Knicks will be able to find a taker for Kemba Walker this summer, though Bondy acknowledges they likely won’t get much back for him. “One GM told me he was concerned about trading for Kemba because of his knees and his limited availability on back-to-back games,” Scotto said.
- Although Bondy believes the Knicks are open to trading Cam Reddish, he’s skeptical it will happen, since the team would be reluctant to essentially admit that giving up a protected first-round pick for him was a mistake. Reddish probably won’t sign an extension this offseason, but he’ll likely stick with the Knicks for at least another year, Bondy says.