NEW YORK (BVM) — After signing former Los Angeles Clippers center Isaiah Hartenstein as free agency kicked off yesterday, the New York Knicks doubled back on the position by re-signing rising big man, Mitchell Robinson. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Robinson has agreed to terms on a deal with the Knicks on a four-year, $60 million contract.
Free agent center Mitchell Robinson has agreed on a new four-year, $60 million contract to stay with the New York Knicks, his agents Thad Foucher and Joe Smith of @Wassbasketball tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/dnKtVQmln9
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
Here is everything you need to know about the Knicks’ blockbuster re-signing:
Mitchell Robinson’s contract:
Robinson’s average annual value comes in around $15 million, which slots in near some of the recent signings that have been given out to forwards and centers. Yesterday, Bobby Portis cashed in on his play, signing a similar deal for four-years, $49 million. With Robinson turning 24 years old in the past few months, the deal makes a lot of sense for the Knicks who hope he still has room to grow as he enters his prime.
New York’s center position:
Robinson will slot back in as the defensive anchor for the Knicks who have looked to add some more playmaking and offense to their starting lineup early on in free agency. With Robinson and now Hartenstein, New York will be able to mix in differing skillsets between the two, as Robinson has proven to be a defensive stallworth and Hartenstein has shown promise as an all-around big who has flashed solid playmaking at the position.
The 7-foot center will likely be the final piece of New York’s starting lineup as the team prepares to have a likely grouping of Jalen Brunson, Evan Fournier, R.J. Barrett, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson, now slotting in again. Last year, the Knicks’ big man averaged 8.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 25.7 minutes through 72 games, while shooting 76.1 percent from the field. The former second-round pick in 2018 has been a surprise win for the Knicks dating back to the Steve Mills-led front office.
Robinson in Knicks’ future:
The Knicks are banking that the 24-year-old can continue to anchor the team’s defense following some of the issues they had last year. With Brunson added into the fold, New York will need to deploy similar defensive strategies surrounding their incoming point guard, after struggling with Kemba Walker on the defensive end last season. Although Brunson is a solid offensive threat, the 6-foot-1 guard has struggled with on-ball defense and will likely need Robinson’s rim protection to back him up in pick and roll scenarios. Like Walker, who was shipped out during the NBA draft, the smaller guard will need help alongside Fournier as Tom Thibodeau aims to find a balance of scoring and defense.
With the contract slotting in near others, the deal for Robinson seems like a win-win for both sides as New York aims to find a way back into the playoffs with some of its recent moves.