Charlotte Hornets: Mitchell Robinson should be a trade target

New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

With the Charlotte Hornets entering a possible rebuild period, should consider trading for a young and talented center?

During the offseason, the Charlotte Hornets did not pick up a whole lot of help for their weak frontcourt. With the team possibly entering a rebuild, it’s time for Charlotte to target a young player for their frontcourt.

If Charlotte wants to begin a rebuild right, they need to target a player like Mitchell Robinson. This sophomore center saw a lot of playing time last season, and he proved to be a defensive anchor for the New York Knicks.

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Robinson finished his rookie season by averaging 7.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game. Robinson finished the season with 161 blocks, and he was the leading rookie in shot-blocking. He also finished fourth in the league among rookies with 423 total rebounds.

Robinson played in 66 games last season for the Knicks, and he managed to start in just 19 of them. He has the experience to be a starter. As a starter, he helped lead the Knicks to six wins last season, averaging 7.6 points per game in them.

Rebounds and defense are two categories that the Hornets struggled in last season. The Hornets finished 23rd in the league in rebounds last season, with 43.8 rebounds per game. This was a dramatic drop from the 2017-18 season, where the Hornets finished in the top five.

The Hornets also did not play well on defense in the paint last season. During the 2018-19 season, Charlotte allowed 49 points per game in the paint. They also only managed to block 4.9 shots per game.

With the addition of Mitchell Robinson to the team, Charlotte would automatically correct these areas that they are low in. At 21 years old, Robinson has the potential to be an elite paint defender.

His offensive game could be improved, but he did manage to shoot a clean 69% from the field last season. The main weakness of his game is his shot from the free-throw line, in which he finished last season with a percentage of 60% from the charity stripe.

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To get a player like Robinson, the Hornets would probably have to offer up a young player and possibly one of their centers to the Knicks. Robinson is set to make under $5 million during the next two seasons, and he could be a cheap option for Charlotte.

Robinson would be a substantial upgrade to current starter Cody Zeller, who is not effective in the paint when it comes to defense. With his short wingspan, Zeller has only been able to average .8 blocks per game.

Zeller is entering his 7th NBA season, and he is set to make just under $30 million over the next two seasons. Zeller has missed 82 games over the last two seasons, and he has barely been able to overcome chronic injuries.

A younger defensive player at the center spot would bode well for the Charlotte Hornets. If the Hornets want to have any chance for the postseason in the next few seasons, they need to go after Robinson.

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Fans can agree that Robinson is talented, and he has the potential to blossom under Head Coach James Borrego. Regardless of what Charlotte does, Robinson is set to have a huge year with the Knicks this season.