DALLAS - We certainly have our DallasBasketball.com fun with the concept of the "pipe-dream'' deal - Right, Giannis? And right, Jokic? - so who are we to scoff at a Bleacher Report idea that would bring to Dallas 23-year-old New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson?
So we won't scoff. We will, however, analyze, point-by-point. ...
1) We have to figure out if the Knicks are interested in giving up Robinson. There are currently no indications of that in New York.
So that's a problem.
2) We have to figure out how grand an upgrade it would be to add him. Robinson (7-0) is a defense-first guy, limited offensively while averaging 6.8 points ... but he gives New York 1.7 blocks in 25 minutes per game. Kleber, who has only played in six games this season so far, gave Dallas 1.2 blocks in 19 minutes per game as well as hitting threes at an impressive 48-percent c
3) How hungry are the Mavericks for help here?
As observers, we continue to suggest that coach Jason Kidd should play ex-Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis more at the 5 (he's on a good run in whatever role), and that Dallas would be better using Dwight Powell as a spot contributor rather than as a starting center.
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Writes B/R: "Mitchell Robinson is an audacious aim as the starting center of a New York Knicks team trying for consecutive playoff trips. However, the Knicks learned they could live without him last season, and they know life with him will get pricey in the near future since he needs a new deal by next offseason. If New York stagnates or simply doesn’t want to pay Robinson, Dallas should be ready to pounce.
And the B/R proposal:
Knicks get: Maxi Kleber, Dallas’ 2022 second-round pick
Mavericks get: Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox
That does not seem imbalanced. At issue, though, in addition to the three points above: Robinson this summer hits free agency. Is he, say, a $10-million-per-year player? Do the Mavs see him that way? Does the league?
Ultimately, this is about both what Robinson would do to help now (plenty, we say) and how he is valued as a future piece. Our best guess: The Mavs have a habit of "Loving Our Boys in Blue,'' though that was a theme of former GM Donnie Nelson. Still, we think they have a 2021-22 plan they have confidence in, and that still features Maxi ... which woutwould preclude them from doing this deal.