Mitchell Robinson’s contract situation, explained

Earlier today, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News had an article in which he used some, shall we say… “foreboding language” in regards to the future of Mitchell Robinson and the New York Knicks.

The article notes that the team has two rather minuscule team options for the 2020-21 and 21-22 seasons. He writes, correctly, that the team is limited to what it can offer Robinson in an extension next summer, which is a four-year deal that starts at the midlevel, and amounts to somewhere in the neighborhood of $55 million for the length of the deal.

Based on his current trajectory, this would seem to be below Robinson’s market value. At this point, his median outcome is at worst Clint Capella, who is making $18 million annually.

He also notes that if the Knicks exercise both team options, then Mitch can become an unrestricted free agent in 2022. Bondy raised the issue of the Mavs as a possible suitor at that point, and as I noted on Twitter, there is a connection between Mitch’s agent Mayar Zokai and the late power-agent Dan Fegan, who himself had deep connections with the Mavercks and had a few notable clients sign lucrative deals in Dallas.

Here’s the thing though: if the Knicks simply walk through Door No. 3, they (and Robinson) can have their cake and eat it to. They can wait untill the summer of 2021, tear up Robinson’s 4th year team option, and let him become a restricted free agent. This was the exact situation that happened with the Nuggets and star Nikola Jokic last summer.

This of course opens up the possibility that some team cold swoop in with a preposterous offer, but assuming Mitch and the team are on good terms and in relative agreement about what he should be making long term, this would seem like the best option.

Robinson, to his credit, has integrated himself seamlessly in New York, and despite his ties to the South, seems committed to the organization and the area at large. He is arguably the face of the organization, hosting his show that has become something of an online sensation (hey, the kid’s got talent).

After how the KP situation went sideways, the Knicks’ brass better do their part to keep things rosy where their young center is concerned. Then, when the time comes, they have to make sure Robinson remains a Knick for the foreseeable future.

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