The New York Knicks may have unearthed a gem in Mitchell Robinson

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Last September, on the eve of the training camp, the Knicks exchanged Carmelo Anthony for Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick in the second round of 2018.

After an extremely disappointing 2017-18 season at OKC, Anthony and the Thunder are expected to part this summer as Oklahoma City desperately wants to cash in on Melo's salary. Doug McDermott was diverted to Dallas in February as part of a three-team deal and has since signed a three-year deal with the Indiana Pacers. Kanter opted for the final year of his contract, but is unlikely to stay in New York this season.

The only player in the much-talked-about Carmelo deal who is likely to remain in New York or Oklahoma City in the long term is the player the Knicks selected in the second round, Mitchell Robinson.

LAS VEGAS, NV – July 7: New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson # 26 blocks a shot of John Collins # 20 of the Atlanta Hawks during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTICE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and using this photo, the user agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Wasson / Getty Images)

The Knicks have Robinson on Sunday afternoon committed to a four-year contract, which should hold him until 2022 in New York.

In the 2018 draft, there was little doubt in the immense talent that brought Robinson to the table. Only because of his size and athleticism he was destined for the first round. In fact, Robinson ranked ninth in the 2017 final ranking of Rivals.com high school, just behind Collin Sexton and Wendell Carter, and a place ahead of Kevin Knox.

However, there were legitimate concerns as to whether he was ready to handle the rigors of the NBA on and off the ground. As a result, within the Knicks organization, there was a belief that he could slip into the second round. According to a report in the New York Post, President Steve Mills and General Manager Scott Perry considered acting to ensure that they landed the object of their desire. The Knicks stayed at the end and grabbed their man with the 36th overall selection in the draft.

The very early returns were very promising. Understandably, Kevin Knox has stolen the most headlines with his impressive play in the summer league action (Knox averaging 23.3 points and 7.3 rebounds over Knicks' first three games); Robinson, however, has also exceeded the optimistic expectations.

Through the Knicks' first three summer league games in Las Vegas, Robinson averages 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks, while a burning 68.2% shoot off the ground. This is quite remarkable when you consider that the child has not played in an organized basketball game for over 14 months. The last time he messed with a team was during his high school. After enrolling at the University of Western Kentucky last summer, he dropped out and instead opted to train individually for the 2018 NBA Draft.

So the coaching staff at Knicks said he would have to chop off excessive amounts of rust and significantly improve his physical condition to compete against top draft picks and other players fighting for their NBA lives in Las Vegas.

Still, the Knicks had no choice but to throw him into the deep end of the pool as their two most experienced bigs were unavailable. Luke Kornet (right thigh) and Isaiah Hicks (strained right bend), who played 38 times for the Knicks last season, both missed the first two summer league games. Hicks returned to Game 3 on Tuesday, but Kornet is still missing. Robinson and the New York coaching staff probably did not expect him to play 25 minutes per night, but maybe it was luck in bad luck.

The extensive experience has given Robinson an idea of ​​what to expect as he prepares for his first training camp and preseason as a pro. It was not just roses for the 20-year-old. He has fought off the free-throw line and has reached aggressively defensive ends. He was already whistled by 18 fouls in his first three competitions. (In the summer league players are allowed a maximum of 10 fouls per game). Robinson was also bullied on the low block by stronger, more experienced centers.

Yet, there is a wealth of positive things that he can take away from his early game. Robinson has not shown much at the attacking end in Vegas except dunks, but that's to be expected. It's been a while since the Knicks had a dynamic Leaper in the middle who can easily catch laps of screen-and-rolls. The mere threat of an alley-oops will help spread the ground by extending defenses vertically. In addition, the shape on Robinson's Springer is solid, and he projects himself as a tall one who will be able to evolve into a relatively constant shooter of 12-16 feet. In high school, he was not afraid to step past the 3-point arc. As a senior at Chalmette High School in Louisiana, he scored 137 3-points and made 38. He also shot 60% of the Charity Stripe.

However, Robinson will have his biggest impact on the defensive end. His remarkable athleticism gives him such a big advantage not only on the edge, but also on the edge. In today's NBA with space and temple trains, the misdemeanors are constantly trying to cause disagreement by having their guards pick and roll the big men of the opponent. We've seen the leagues, two best teams, the Rockets and Warriors, are doing so relentlessly in the postseason 2018. Centers that have a fluid hip and can defend their defenses 20 feet above the basket are incredibly valuable in that are able to keep faster guards at the edge in front of them, preventing the team defense from collapsing.

Robinson's center-back was as good as advertised. During his last two high school seasons, he averaged 6.9 blocks per game. He uses his incredible bounce and timing in combination with a huge 7 "4" wingspan to shoot effortlessly, but it was his amazing ability to run the 3-point line to play jump shooters as well to stay ahead of faster opponents on the perimeter, which was pleasantly surprising.

He is still incredibly raw and has made many mistakes. He will do much more. He has not proved anything yet. But it is important to remember that since this week last week he has never received any kind of professional instruction and coaching.

The development team of an NBA team can only hope that they will receive a rough diamond. It's up to Knicks' coaches to polish the raw gemstone and help Robinson reach his full potential. Similarly, Knicks' front office and support staff are tasked with keeping the young man on the straight and narrow. He was a confused kid in a complicated situation in rural Louisiana. Now he lives and works as a millionaire in New York City. And now he's going to start reading about unfair comparisons with Clint Capela and Kevin Garnett and Marcus Camby. There will be situations he is not prepared for. It will be a tough test of culture that Fizdale, Mills and Perry want to build within the organization.

But do not make a mistake, the Knicks have put themselves in a favorable position. By locking Robinson into a team-friendly contract with several team options that will earn him around $ 1.6 million a year in the 2021-22 season, New York sits pretty well. Even if he develops into a one-dimensional player capable of blocking at short intervals and stifling recoils, this is a significant victory for the franchise. It is incredibly valuable to have a reliable player account for rotations of less than 2% of your team's salary cap. This allows the GM to provide resources for other aspects of the roster.

The sky is the limit for this young, high caliber. Let's see if the Knicks clear the runway and bring him to the starting position.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 10: Moritz Wagner # 15 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson # 26 during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTICE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and using this photo, the user agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Wasson / Getty Images)

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Last September, on the eve of the training camp, the Knicks exchanged Carmelo Anthony for Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick in the second round of 2018.

After an extremely disappointing 2017-18 season at OKC, Anthony and the Thunder are expected to part this summer as Oklahoma City desperately wants to cash in on Melo's salary. Doug McDermott was diverted to Dallas in February as part of a three-team deal and has since signed a three-year deal with the Indiana Pacers. Kanter opted for the final year of his contract, but is unlikely to stay in New York this season.

The only player in the much-talked-about Carmelo deal who is likely to remain in New York or Oklahoma City in the long term is the player the Knicks selected in the second round, Mitchell Robinson.

LAS VEGAS, NV – July 7: New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson # 26 blocks a shot of John Collins # 20 of the Atlanta Hawks during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 7, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTICE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and using this photo, the user agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Wasson / Getty Images)

The Knicks have Robinson on Sunday afternoon committed to a four-year contract, which should hold him until 2022 in New York.

In the 2018 draft, there was little doubt in the immense talent that brought Robinson to the table. Only because of his size and athleticism he was destined for the first round. In fact, Robinson ranked ninth in the 2017 final ranking of Rivals.com high school, just behind Collin Sexton and Wendell Carter, and a place ahead of Kevin Knox.

However, there were legitimate concerns as to whether he was ready to handle the rigors of the NBA on and off the ground. As a result, within the Knicks organization, there was a belief that he could slip into the second round. According to a report in the New York Post, President Steve Mills and General Manager Scott Perry considered acting to ensure that they landed the object of their desire. The Knicks stayed at the end and grabbed their man with the 36th overall selection in the draft.

The very early returns were very promising. Understandably, Kevin Knox has stolen the most headlines with his impressive play in the summer league action (Knox averaging 23.3 points and 7.3 rebounds over Knicks' first three games); Robinson, however, has also exceeded the optimistic expectations.

Through the Knicks' first three summer league games in Las Vegas, Robinson averages 11.3 points, 9.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks, while a burning 68.2% shoot off the ground. This is quite remarkable when you consider that the child has not played in an organized basketball game for over 14 months. The last time he messed with a team was during his high school. After enrolling at the University of Western Kentucky last summer, he dropped out and instead opted to train individually for the 2018 NBA Draft.

So the coaching staff at Knicks said he would have to chop off excessive amounts of rust and significantly improve his physical condition to compete against top draft picks and other players fighting for their NBA lives in Las Vegas.

Still, the Knicks had no choice but to throw him into the deep end of the pool as their two most experienced bigs were unavailable. Luke Kornet (right thigh) and Isaiah Hicks (strained right bend), who played 38 times for the Knicks last season, both missed the first two summer league games. Hicks returned to Game 3 on Tuesday, but Kornet is still missing. Robinson and the New York coaching staff probably did not expect him to play 25 minutes per night, but maybe it was luck in bad luck.

The extensive experience has given Robinson an idea of ​​what to expect as he prepares for his first training camp and preseason as a pro. It was not just roses for the 20-year-old. He has fought off the free-throw line and has reached aggressively defensive ends. He was already whistled by 18 fouls in his first three competitions. (In the summer league players are allowed a maximum of 10 fouls per game). Robinson was also bullied on the low block by stronger, more experienced centers.

Yet, there is a wealth of positive things that he can take away from his early game. Robinson has not shown much at the attacking end in Vegas except dunks, but that's to be expected. It's been a while since the Knicks had a dynamic Leaper in the middle who can easily catch laps of screen-and-rolls. The mere threat of an alley-oops will help spread the ground by extending defenses vertically. In addition, the shape on Robinson's Springer is solid, and he projects himself as a tall one who will be able to evolve into a relatively constant shooter of 12-16 feet. In high school, he was not afraid to step past the 3-point arc. As a senior at Chalmette High School in Louisiana, he scored 137 3-points and made 38. He also shot 60% of the Charity Stripe.

However, Robinson will have his biggest impact on the defensive end. His remarkable athleticism gives him such a big advantage not only on the edge, but also on the edge. In today's NBA with space and temple trains, the misdemeanors are constantly trying to cause disagreement by having their guards pick and roll the big men of the opponent. We've seen the leagues, two best teams, the Rockets and Warriors, are doing so relentlessly in the postseason 2018. Centers that have a fluid hip and can defend their defenses 20 feet above the basket are incredibly valuable in that are able to keep faster guards at the edge in front of them, preventing the team defense from collapsing.

Robinson's center-back was as good as advertised. During his last two high school seasons, he averaged 6.9 blocks per game. He uses his incredible bounce and timing in combination with a huge 7 "4" wingspan to shoot effortlessly, but it was his amazing ability to run the 3-point line to play jump shooters as well to stay ahead of faster opponents on the perimeter, which was pleasantly surprising.

He is still incredibly raw and has made many mistakes. He will do much more. He has not proved anything yet. But it is important to remember that since this week last week he has never received any kind of professional instruction and coaching.

The development team of an NBA team can only hope that they will receive a rough diamond. It's up to Knicks' coaches to polish the raw gemstone and help Robinson reach his full potential. Similarly, Knicks' front office and support staff are tasked with keeping the young man on the straight and narrow. He was a confused kid in a complicated situation in rural Louisiana. Now he lives and works as a millionaire in New York City. And now he's going to start reading about unfair comparisons with Clint Capela and Kevin Garnett and Marcus Camby. There will be situations he is not prepared for. It will be a tough test of culture that Fizdale, Mills and Perry want to build within the organization.

But do not make a mistake, the Knicks have put themselves in a favorable position. By locking Robinson into a team-friendly contract with several team options that will earn him around $ 1.6 million a year in the 2021-22 season, New York sits pretty well. Even if he develops into a one-dimensional player capable of blocking at short intervals and stifling recoils, this is a significant victory for the franchise. It is incredibly valuable to have a reliable player account for rotations of less than 2% of your team's salary cap. This allows the GM to provide resources for other aspects of the roster.

The sky is the limit for this young, high caliber. Let's see if the Knicks clear the runway and bring him to the starting position.

LAS VEGAS, NV – JULY 10: Moritz Wagner # 15 of the Los Angeles Lakers shoots against New York Knicks Mitchell Robinson # 26 during the 2018 NBA Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center on July 10, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTICE TO USER: The user expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and using this photo, the user agrees to the terms of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sam Wasson / Getty Images)

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