The season is FINALLY over and now Knicks fans can FINALLY get involved again — and so far all the action is going on with other teams! And many Knick fans are rejoicing — saying “we dodged a bullet”.
- First Kevin Durant — down with the achilles injury. Had he not played that final game in the finals (after that mysterious ‘calf’ injury), he would have no doubt ruptured his achilles early next season or in training camp after the Knicks lavished him with a huge contract — which they still may do but now the Knicks are the grantors of faith, vs the bad luck Knicks.
- And now Anthony Davis — traded to the Lakers. And many (most?) Knick fans cheered — in that Mitchell Robinson was NOT included in any trade by the Knicks for Davis.
Predicting the Future
It is tricky business predicting the future — but Mitchell Robinson looked “Special” starting with game 3 of summer league last year — when he made some observers (like me) figuratively fall off their couch at his shotblocking and slam dunking prowess. Electrifying play. Kevin Knox looked good, but Mitchell Robinson looked special. And as the season started and progressed, Robinson got better and better.
- At first his rebounding wasn’t up to snuff — he wasn’t grabbing the ball well to pull down rebounds in traffic even though he’d outjumped everyone to get his hands on the ball. But as the season progressed, his rebounding got better by leaps and bounds.
- His free throw shooting looked sketchy early on, but as the season progressed, he showed excellence there as well.
- His ability to get into foul trouble looked like it would be an issue in the first half of the season, but in the later part of the season, especially when he came back from injury, he was doing an excellent job of staying out of foul trouble.
The kid doesn't stop 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/oNEZUGbbA5
— NEW YORK KNICKS (@nyknicks) April 10, 2019
Robinson’s Next Tasks
Robinson has no post-up game yet. He does have a 3-point shot that looks great on youtube videos but he hasn’t unveiled it in games.
IF Robinson learns a postup — which Hakeem Olajuwon learned after entering the NBA at age 22, and Patrick Ewing learned after entering the NBA at 23 — then the sky is the limit for the 20-yr-old Robinson. Hakeem Olajuwon sky. Anthony Davis sky. And as a fan, it will be A LOT more fun to watch Robinson try to attain that status, and with it sustained winning by the Knicks over the next 10 years — than to go out and get an Anthony Davis in a trade. Robinson is “our guy” — even though he was born in New Orleans — our GM (Scott Perry) picked him in the second round.
So as much as Anthony Davis to LA makes the Lakers title contenders, with LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and a max salary slot that could be Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving — Knick fans are happy to take a ‘pass’. We keep our youngsters — not only Mitch Robinson but Allonzo Trier, Kevin Knox, the #3 pick in the draft (RJ Barrett), and several #1 picks that would’ve had to have been coughed up. Great News for Knicks fans. Maybe.
For the Lakers
For the Lakers, this is a great trade: they get one of the elite players in game at age 26; a guy pinning to win a title. It does two things:
- Sets them up with LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, and a max contract rumored to be Kemba Walker or Kyrie Irving — to be immediate title contenders during the end of LeBron’s window.
- Gives them a young, top-3-in-the-league superstar to build a foundation of sustained winning over the next 5-7 years. It is reminiscent of the move of Shaquille O’Neal to LA back in 1997. All the surrendered players & draft picks will probably never, individually, be worth as much as one Anthony Davis. They are ultimately expendable.
For New Orleans
For New Orleans, this seems a great trade too — because — putting the New Orleans hat on — some of the players received ‘may’ become ‘untouchables’.
- Brandon Ingram in the second half of last season, started to look like the superstar people have predicted him to become.
- Lonzo Ball can’t shoot but he has displayed Jason Kidd-like qualities on the court.
- New Orleans gets the #4 pick in this June’s draft and then all those other 1st-round picks in future years from LA. New Orleans has a ton of talent to build around Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday now.
So this is the rare trade that made most of the fans of three (3) teams happy!