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Big men linked to the Knicks: Who are they? Why get them? Real or not?

Mitchell Robinson is out, you have questions, and we collected some answers.

Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

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The New York Knicks lost Mitchell Robinson to an ankle injury back on Dec. 8 in a game played at the TD Garden in Boston ending in a loss to the Celtics.

The New York Knicks ran a bunch of X-rays at halftime then and there, and they came back negative.

The New York Knicks even went on to bring Robinson back in the second half of that game, with Mitch telling reporters after the game that his injury was “nothing crazy,” and seemingly not expecting to miss any time going forward.

The New York Knicks ruled Robinson out for 8-to-10 weeks a couple of days after that, saying the center would undergo surgery and then go for a re-evaluation in mid-February.

No panic. Double no panic. Triple no panic.

The New York Knicks, on Wednesday, applied to the NBA for a Disabled Player Exception worth $7.8 million. The reason? The New York Knicks expect Mitchell Robinson to miss the remainder of the 203-24 season.

Bruh.

With Robinson out for the year, Jericho Sims out until 2024, and the current big-man rotation in a very perilous status and having little to no depth at all, it’s fair to check the rumor mill and find the Knicks linked to a couple or a dozen of centers and big wings that might or might not entice the front office as mid-season additions to New York’s frontcourt.

Now, see. I am no capologist. I am no numbers cruncher. I rely on people who truly know about that and believe me, you should do too because the small letter of this whole thing they call CBA is hella twisted and detailed.

That’s why when you saw “the NYK applied for a $7.8 million exception” you might have had wet dreams about who might be coming to Manhattan. You were (most probably) wrong, because that room is super conditioned in terms of how it could be used, and hell, this is just a moment in which the Knicks might not even entertain making any sort of move (low- or high-impact) considering they will (we all hope) get Mitch back at some point, even if that’s only for next season and beyond.

Relying on folks I trust (mostly Tommy Beer, Fred Katz, and Jonathan Macrisubscribe to all of their platforms, you won’t regret it!) and who know much more about what can and can’t be done next, I have put together a comprehensive list of the men they think the Knicks could try to acquire to make up for Robinson’s absence during the next few months and until our favorite Country Boy makes his comeback.

I have summarized what these three think about those players, so it’s easier for you to digest the information and the potential impact/viability of those moves. Spoiler: don’t get overly excited.

Chicago Bulls v New York Knicks Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images

Andre Drummond (Chicago Bulls)

  • Skills: Elite rebounding, interior defense.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Veteran experience, strong paint presence.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Medium, depends on Bulls’ roster decisions and trade willingness.

Goga Bitadze (Orlando Magic)

  • Skills: Shot-blocking, improved physicality.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Good form this season, potential underused asset blossoming.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Unlikely, given Orlando’s current standing and roster needs.

Nerlens Noel (Free Agent)

  • Skills: Rim protection, defensive acumen.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Familiarity with Knicks’ system, proven impact.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: High, as a free agent and former Knick.

Daniel Gafford (Washington Wizards)

  • Skills: Rim protection, athleticism.
  • Reasons for Adding Them: Long-term backup keeper, youth.
  • Possibilities of Adding Them: Depends on the team’s future plans for him.

Mike Muscala (Washington Wizards)

  • Skills: Floor spacing with shooting, veteran experience.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Adds a different dimension to the center position.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Depends on Wizards’ rotation and trade stance.

DeAndre Jordan (Denver Nuggets)

  • Skills: Rebounding, veteran leadership.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Experienced, can mentor younger players.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Medium, contingent on Denver’s willingness to trade.
Los Angeles Clippers v New York Knicks Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Mason Plumlee (LA Clippers)

  • Skills: Rebounding, solid defense.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Proven role player, NBA experience.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Conditional on his injury status and Clippers’ plans.

JaVale McGee (Sacramento Kings)

  • Skills: Championship experience, rim protection.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Effective in limited minutes, veteran presence.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Medium, depending on Sacramento’s depth chart and trade interest.

Cody Zeller (New Orleans Pelicans)

  • Skills: Hustle plays, rebounding.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Reliable role player, solid bench contributor.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Possible, depending on Pelicans’ roster strategy.

Bismack Biyombo (Memphis Grizzlies)

  • Skills: Shot-blocking, physical defense.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Defensive focus, rim protection.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: High as a backup option; free agent status.

Xavier Tillman (Memphis Grizzlies)

  • Skills: Physical defense, rebounding.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Solid backup, young and energetic.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Medium, depends on his current team’s depth and strategy.

Alex Len (Sacramento Kings)

  • Skills: Veteran presence, defensive skills.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Experienced, could be reliable backups.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Depends on Kings’ rotation plans and trade openness.
Brooklyn Nets v New York Knicks Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Nic Claxton (Brooklyn Nets)

  • Skills: Athleticism, shot-blocking.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Similar style to Robinson, young talent.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Low, unlikely intra-city trade.

Nikola Vucevic (Chicago Bulls)

  • Skills: Offense-oriented, rebounding.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Experienced scorer, different skill set.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Low, different defensive style, contract concerns.

Clint Capela (Atlanta Hawks)

  • Skills: Rim protection, similar style to Robinson.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Defensive anchor, playoff experience.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Complicated due to contract length and Atlanta’s plans.

Kelly Olynyk (Utah Jazz)

  • Skills: Offensive skills, playmaking.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Offers a different look at center, can stretch the floor.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Medium, bad fit and dependent on Utah’s trade approach.

Precious Achiuwa (Toronto Raptors)

  • Skills: Energy, athleticism.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Potential upside, solid rebounder.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Complicated due to legal feud between Knicks and Raptors.

Nick Richards (Charlotte Hornets)

  • Skills: Rim protection, athleticism.
  • Reasons for Adding Them: Young prospect, potential long-term backup.
  • Possibilities of Adding Them: Medium, contingent on his team plans and trade openness.

P.J. Tucker (LA Clippers)

  • Skills: Small-ball center capabilities, experience.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Versatility, proven track record.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Low, due to age, performance decline, and contract.

Mo Bamba (Philadelphia 76ers)

  • Skills: Rim protector, defensive chops, can shoot.
  • Reasons for Adding Him: Solid backup with long-term future.
  • Possibilities of Adding Him: Medium, buried in the Sixers rotation, lack of franchise short-term plans clarity.

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