As a part of our series detailing which players the Charlotte Hornets should target in NBA free agency, our attention shifts to the New York Knicks. The Knicks finished with a 37-45 record, which earned them an 11th-place finish in the Eastern Conference. Despite making the playoffs as a four seed last year, this season’s squad fell well below their potential.
Strangely, the Knicks have hardly any free agents in the 2022 offseason. As a part of their 2020-21 success, they secured the majority of their guys for the future, which left the 2022 offseason relatively decision-free. That being said, they do have one major piece hitting the open market.
Mitchell Robinson, the team’s starting center, is set to becoming an unrestricted free agent in the coming months. Although Robinson is 24-years-old, the young center has already made a name for himself as an elite rim-protector and shot-blocker. He is bound to earn more than the $1.6 million he procured this season.
For the Hornets, Robinson might actually make sense as a free agent target. He is essentially a younger Mason Plumlee. While there is a definite decrease in passing ability, Robinson provides even more defense than the current Hornets big man. Coupled with his low-usage, highly-efficient play, Robinson could partner well with LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier in the pick-and-roll.
Considering the only other free agent the Knicks have is Ryan Arcidiacono, Robinson makes the most sense for the Hornets’ front office to seek. Charlotte needs an upgrade at the center position, and Robinson can provide a boost in talent and be a defensive anchor, which is something the Hornets have not had for a number of years.
The only major downside in Robinson’s game is his propensity to get into foul trouble. Charlotte may want to secure another lower-value center in the offseason if they decide to pursue Robinson. If not, they may want a young player like Kai Jones to play more minutes coming off the bench because Robinson will get into foul trouble on a consistent basis.