Knicks reportedly rebuff Pistons bid for Mitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Mitchell Robinson #23 of the New York Knicks (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Marvin Bagley III was not the only big guy the Detroit Pistons were pursuimg at the trade deadline. A report out of New York says they made an offer to the Knicks for center Mitchell Robinson, but they eventually pulled him off the market.

When New York asked if they could have some ‘Beef Stew’ they were told a resounding ‘No’, which killed any deal with Detroit.

It is no secret that Detroit is looking for athletic big men. In his post-trade deadline press conference, general manager Troy Weaver admitted it was a need he had not filled, hence the trade for former No. 2 overall draft pick Marvin Bagley III.

Another athletic big targeted by Weaver, according to the New York Post’s Marc Berman, was Knicks center Mitchell Robinson. New York eventually decided not to trade him, even though he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.

Robinson is a rim-protecting 7-footer in his fourth season in the league. He is still working on his skills and could develop into a dominant defensive player with a decent offensive game.  For whatever reason, Robinson and New York have not agreed on a contract extension.

On the theory of ‘better to get something now, rather then let him walk for nothing’, other NBA teams inquired about Robinson’s availability. The Bulls were reportedly among the teams talking to the Knicks.

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However, with a lot of salary cap space in the off-season, Detroit can make another try to get Robinson in the free agent market.

One of the sticking points negotiating with the Pistons, was that the Knicks were interested in center Isaiah Stewart …. well … that was not happening.

According to Berman:

"(Knicks executive Brock) Aller actually called the Pistons and offered a complex package. The Knicks were interested in draft picks and also asked about rookie center Isaiah Stewart of Rochester. The Pistons weren’t willing to deal Stewart."

Sending your starting center, who you invested a lot of capital to get, for a player who could walk in a few months, was definitely a non-starter for Detroit.

Getting Robinson and Bagley would have certainly bulked up the Pistons front-line. However,  it is more likely Detroit jumped into the four-team trade that involved them getting Bagley, after they knew the Robinson deal was dead.

To have two big men playing major minutes when both could leave at the end of the season (Bagley is a restricted free agent) would have been a really big gamble. It is not like Detroit is loading up this year for a playoff push.

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

While the attempt to trade for Mitchell Robinson did not pan out, he is a player obviously on the Pistons radar. If he does, indeed, become a free agent, you can count on Detroit making a push to sign him. That is the point of having all of this salary cap space, after all.