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Should the Knicks unleash Mitchell Robinson?

His trainer makes a plea.

New York Knicks v Indiana Pacers Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images

Mitchell Robinson had a busy summer.

In July, he and partner Lindsey Luquet announced the birth of their daughter Riley. Since then, in an blatant move to avoid diaper duty, the New York Knicks starting center has spent a lot of time working on his conditioning and practicing in the gym.

This week, his trainer Marcell Scott took to Instagram to post his praises of his seven-foot client. Marcell wrote of Mitchell, “Offseason is officially over! I can say he improved his free-throw shooting, his athleticism is back from him buying into the pool workouts! Mitch has developed a few go-to moves with his back to the basket!!! Please Coach Thibs give him that freedom on the offensive end…”

Robinson, 25, is about to start his sixth NBA season this fall, for which he will be paid $15.6M. For the last campaign, he scored an average of 7.4 points and 9.4 boards per game. He led the league with a 74% field goal percentage in 2019-2020, and logged a very respectable 67% last year.

Mostly dunks.

Mitch is a big man with incredible bounce—fun to watch and fun to root for. Although it is a tantalizing idea to have center who can shoot from distance (remember Isaiah Hartenstein?), that is not a skill that Tom Thibodeau wants from his anchor. That’s why proposed trades for Myles Turner never made much sense. “Protect the Rim” is the Thibs mantra. Under Thibodeau’s system, Robinson is expected to grab rebounds, block shots, draw fouls, and make his free throws. Maybe that’s enough.

Robinson has only averaged about two free throws per game for his career, btw. Below is a clip of him practicing his form from the line this summer. If you think Mitch should be unleashed as an offensive weapon, talk about it in the comments.