Pistons looking at Mitchell Robinson for future center?

New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (26) blocks a shot. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (26) blocks a shot. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

If the New York Knicks do not think they can keep center Mitchell Robinson, the Detroit Pistons, reportedly, would be more than happy to take the athletic big man off their hands. The Pistons could also grab Robinson this summer, even if the Knicks want him back.

The New York Knicks experienced a renaissance last year, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference, their best finish in a long time. However, they have regressed badly this season. As of February 6, the Knicks were 24-29 and a game out of even making the Play-in tournament.

Changes obviously need to be made. Fans at Madison Square Garden are now expecting the home team to, like, win every once in a while.

New York has a promising, young center in Mitchell Robinson and he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The Knicks might want to deal him at the trade deadline, if they do not think they can bring him back.

According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Detroit Pistons would be interested if Robinson was made available.

"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.But Robinson has fans in the Pistons organization."

Related Story. A range of bigs for the Pistons to consider in trades and free agency. light

Robinson is 7-feet tall and is best known as a rim protector on defense. He scores strictly down low, and is not a good foul shooter. Of course, Detroit has won titles with defensive-oriented centers who did not score a lot.

Robinson is not playing badly, averaging 11 points, nine rebounds in 2022. But he has not shown to be a difference maker with the Knicks, and this is his fourth NBA season. You can not be a project forever.

But Robinson is about to turn 24, so there still is probably some upside to him. Could the Pistons use him? Well, it probably beats Trey Lyles at center when Kelly Olynyk is not available. Isaiah Stewart and Olynyk are the Pistons centers, when they are completely healthy. Olynyk can play the power forward spot as well, and, one could argue, the 6-9 Stewart is a more natural ‘4’ than a center,

If Robinson improves on his game, Detroit could find minutes for him. Robinson would also give them a big body to throw against the like of Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid.

How do Detroit Pistons get Mitchell Robinson from New York Knicks

If the Knicks wanted to sign Robinson to an extension, they would have done it by now. WIth a projected weak free agent class this summer, Robinson might also be waiting until then, for what could be a bigger pay day.

Pistons general manager Troy Weaver has shown he has no problem renting young players to see if they fit with Detroit’s future. Last year, Hamidou Diallo and Dennis Smith Jr. were traded for near the deadline. Diallo was re-signed, while Smith ended up with Portland as, with the drafting of Cade Cunningham, there was no reason to keep him.

The price for Robinson should not be too high, considering the Knicks could get nothing if he left in free agency. Maybe a couple of second-rounders, or one of Cory Joseph/Rodney McGruder/Josh Jackson and a second round pick, should do it.

And if the Knicks balk, the Pistons can make New York literally pay for not accepting their trade offer.

Detroit is projected to have more salary cap space than any other NBA team. If they want Robinson, they can make him a major offer when he becomes a free agent. The Knicks can try to match it, but it will put them way over the cap, and limit what else they can do. In a bidding war, Detroit has a lot more room to maneuver.

Next. When the NBA season ends, Detroit Pistons will be rolling in money. dark

Mitchell Robinson is not the final piece of the puzzle for the future of the Detroit Pistons. But he is an intriguing young player, and could be their center, of the future if he continues to develop.