Pistons among teams interested in Knicks’ Mitchell Robinson ahead of NBA trade deadline

Mitchell Robinson white jersey block attempt TWolves

If you’re looking for big-picture takeaways from the Knicks’ overtime loss to the Lakers on Saturday, start here:


Mitchell Robinson’s conditioning and production have been trending in the right direction of late. Entering play Saturday, Robinson was averaging 11 points and 9 rebounds in 26 minutes per game since the start of the calendar year. He appeared to be moving well again against Los Angeles. In 30 minutes, he had 11 rebounds and three steals.

Tom Thibodeau said before the game that Robinson has gotten increasingly comfortable on the defensive end.

“The rim protection is elite. Offensively, putting pressure on the rim has been really good. Finishing through contact has been really, really good. Very pleased overall with his progress and I think there’s a lot of room for growth,” the coach said. “….He’s got gifts that are special. He can cover a lot of ground, he can be out (on the perimeter) and get back (to the paint), drop with the roller (when defending the pick-and-roll), protect the rim. Change shots (at the rim); people are always looking for him (at the rim). I think he’s gaining experience now where he can see things even earlier so I think he’ll continue to grow.”

With trade deadline on Thursday, the Knicks are entering an important stretch with Robinson.

The club can offer him an extension at any time this season. If it hasn’t happened by now, it’s hard to see it happening before the Feb. 10 trade deadline.

So Robinson will enter the trade deadline as a potential unrestricted free agent this summer.

If the Knicks don’t believe they can sign him to a contract they’re comfortable with, you’d think that they would look to trade him ahead of the deadline. (New York could also execute an offseason sign-and-trade to receive compensation for losing Robinson. But those transactions are not always easy to execute).

One note worth keeping in mind with Robinson: The Detroit Pistons are among the teams who’ve had a degree of interest in the 23-year-old, per SNY sources. Robinson would fit the team’s desire to find players on the same timeline as rookie Cade Cunningham. It’s unknown if Detroit would pursue Robinson via trade or if the club would only consider him if/when he hits free agency.

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But Robinson has fans in the Pistons organization.

Something worth noting as we wait to see how things play out between the Knicks and Robinson.


RJ Barrett is playing at a very high level. He had 38 points, eight rebounds and five assists against Los Angeles. He also hit a three-pointer with eight seconds left in regulation to force overtime.

If the Knicks can figure out how to play with the pace and ball movement they showed in the first half on Saturday, they should win most of their final 29 games.

Even if they can’t replicate that level of perimeter shooting every night, the Knicks should be competitive if they play with a similar pace and unselfishness that they showed in the first half on Saturday.


Cam Reddish received a DNP on Saturday night. As noted earlier this week, the Knicks are expected to pursue trades to open a spot in the rotation for Reddish. It would surprise several teams monitoring the club ahead of the deadline if New York didn’t make a move to open time for Reddish.

Reddish has appeared in three of seven games since being cleared to play by the team, logging just 20 minutes. Most of those minutes have been in garbage time.

It would be confusing/strange if Reddish doesn’t have a spot in the rotation after the Feb. 10 deadline.


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