Mitchell Robinson

Getty Mitchell Robinson dunking the basketball during Game Six against the Philadelphia 76ers on May 2.

The futures of Mitchell Robinson and the New York Knicks may not be intertwining. And that much could be determined as soon as this offseason, with starter Isaiah Hartenstein headed for free agency.

If he returns to New York on a new deal, Robinson’s future immediately comes into question.
One option that could present itself is a trade to the Utah Jazz.

Jazz receive: Robinson, No. 24 and 25 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft

Knicks receive: Jordan Clarkson, No. 29 pick in the 2024 NBA Draft

In a deal with the Jazz, the Knicks could offer up two first-round picks in the upcoming draft, while moving back to 29. Robinson’s a talented player, but coming off of an injury riddled 2023-2024.

His 50-game absence with a left ankle injury pushed him out of the starting lineup this season. Hartenstein proved a better two-way threat and overall fit for the Knicks’ offense.

Robinson averaged 5.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks per game.

Clarkson is a former Sixth Man of the Year winner (2021) and coming off of his fourth season with Utah. He averaged 17.1 points, 5.0 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game last season.

Jazz Center Position Unclear Moving Forward

Recent reporting from Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports suggest there’s no clear direction at the Jazz’s center spot moving forward.

“Rival teams believe Utah is willing to engage in trade talks that would part ways with Jazz second-year center Walker Kessler,” Jake Fischer wrote on June 21.

Kessler is 22-years-old, and former first-round pick. He averaged 8.1 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game last season. The only other center on the Utah roster is Omer Yurtseven, a former undrafted find of the Miami Heat.

Robinson would provide some stability at the position, should the Jazz truly entertain trade offers for Kessler. And Danny Ainge has never been known to turn down extra first-round picks.

Knicks Need Ball Handling, Playmaking

New York no doubt feels they had a legitimate NBA Finals bid if Julius Randle was healthy.

He missed all of the 2024 playoffs with a shoulder dislocation. They’ll operate with that in mind this summer.

Ian Begley of SNY reported the likelihood that almost any player not named Jalen Brunson could be available.

“My read is that any player outside of Brunson would be available in the right trade, as you’d expect,” Begley wrote on June 7.

Within their search for upgrades along the bench, backup point guard should be the Knicks’ priority.

Miles McBride filled in for Brunson this season, but he’s yet to show the same passing skillset as most backup point guards. He tallied 25 assists to 11 turnovers in the playoffs.

According to Cleaning the Glass, New York was outscored by 33.7 points per 100 possessions in the playoffs with Brunson off the floor.

They scored 114 points per, which ranks in the 53rd percentile.

On the flip side, with Brunson on the floor, the Knicks outscored opponents by 1.5 points per, and the offense put up 121.1 points per. That’s good for the 86th percentile.

Clarkson is a capable ball handler and playmaker. He’d provide New York with a much-needed initiator off the bench, someone to help steady the ship when Brunson is off the floor.

With the 29th pick in the draft, the Knicks could target a backup center for Hartenstein.

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