The New York Knicks have a lot of questions to answer this offseason, and one of those has to do with four-year big man Mitchell Robinson, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent in less than two months. Out of the few teams that will have a decent amount of cap space to spend this summer, could the San Antonio Spurs be the biggest threat to steal Robinson from the Knicks?
Robinson is making less than $2 million this season as a former second-round pick but will see quite the pay raise this summer wherever he lands. His new deal will likely be somewhere around four years, $45 million.
Robinson has a massive 7-4 wingspan and has emerged as one of the NBA's better rim protectors and most efficient interior play-finishers. He averaged 8.5 points and 8.6 rebounds per game in a little over 25 minutes per game this season.
The former Western Kentucky Hilltopper could look for a more prominent role elsewhere, and San Antonio could be his next destination.
The Spurs stood in the middle of the pack in defensive rating with 111.7 this season, good for 16th in the league. Adding Robinson's rim protection would help the team inch closer to the top of the NBA in that statistic.
The only issue with bringing Robinson aboard is what to do with Jakob Poeltl, the team's current starting center.
The Spurs wouldn't pay around $11 million per year for Robinson to come off the bench. However, starting him alongside Poeltl would create some spacing issues and limit the offensive potential the team could have.
Poeltl also becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2023 season, so signing his potential replacement this offseason might be a bit premature.
With Poeltl already set to earn $9.4 million next season, the idea of signing Robinson becomes more complicated. When considering Poeltl has more upside, the overall idea makes little sense.
Whoever signs Robinson this summer will be lucky, and while that may be the Spurs, it might not be the cleanest fit for both parties.