New York Knicks Tom Thibodeau Praises Mitchell Robinson

Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks, NBA
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There have been plenty of NBA rumors swirling this offseason about New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson. Heading into the 2024 NBA Draft, he was one player people kept an eye on as a potential trade candidate.

As the draft came and went, Mitchell Robinson remained on the New York Knicks roster. But, following the announcement of the team’s blockbuster trade to acquire Mikal Bridges from the Brooklyn Nets, trade rumors persisted.

The easiest way for New York to avoid the first apron hard cap would be to add more salary to the Bridges trade. It would have also given the team a little wiggle room to bring back Isaiah Hartesntein in NBA free agency.

Ultimately, Hartenstein departed. He agreed to a massive three-year, $87 million contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder. The most the New York Knicks could offer was four years and $72.5 million.

With Hartenstein now out of the picture, the New York Knicks are fortunate that they didn’t make any deals involving Mitchell Robinson. He is their unquestioned starting center at this point in time.

Robinson is also someone that head coach Tom Thibodeau thinks very highly of. In a recent post on X, New York Basketball shared a quote from Thibodeau praising the work of his talented big man.

“His effort plays are special. It inspires the team. He’s not gonna have a 40pt night. But some of the plays that he makes are just incredible…Oftentimes, there’s 2-3-4 efforts on the play, he’s got bodies all over him, people are clamping & holding him—he’s still getting to the ball…His pick & roll defense is terrific. 

Rim protection terrific. All the intangibles that he brings to the team. I say this all the time: I know his teammates have great appreciation for what he does, coaches, our whole organization—but sometimes people don’t realize the impact he has,” the New York Knicks head coach said about Mitchell Robinson.

Since entering the league as a second-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Mitchell Robinson has developed into an incredible defensive player. He is integral to the New York Knicks’ success on that end of the court.

Before ankle surgery sidelined him in December, Mitchell Robinson was off to a historic start. What he was doing on the offensive glass hadn’t been seen in decades and he remained a one-man wrecking crew on defense.

The team certainly hopes that he can pick up where he left off once the 2024-25 season rolls around. If he can stay healthy, the New York Knicks can have the best defense in the NBA with him anchoring a unit alongside Bridges and OG Anunoby.

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