Trade Proposal Sends Mitchell Robinson To Grizzlies, Luke Kennard To Knicks

One NBA analyst proposed that the New York Knicks and Memphis Grizzlies make a trade with each other this offseason. 

NBA, Knicks, Grizzlies, Mitchell Robinson, Luke Kennard
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Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report proposed the following trade idea between the Knicks and Grizzlies:

The Trade: The New York Knicks trade Mitchell Robinson to the Memphis Grizzlies for Luke Kennard, the No. 9 pick, a 2026 second-round pick (via LAC) and a 2027 second-round pick (via ATL)

Robinson appeared in only 31 games for the Knicks this season due to a foot injury. He averaged 5.6 points, 8.5 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks while shooting 57.5% from the field and 40.9% from the free-throw line. The 26-year-old will make $14.3 million next season. 

“If the Knicks pay anywhere near $72.5 million to keep Isaiah Hartenstein, that would be a crystal-clear indication of their intent to keep him in the starting lineup,” Buckley wrote in his “Fresh Predictions from NBA Trade and Offseason Rumors” article. “That would also sound an alarm for Robinson, whose $14.3 million salary suddenly might be way too much to stomach for a backup big man.

“That alarm could be music to the ears of the Grizzlies, who have a Steven Adams-sized hole in their center rotation and could be itching to get back to their elite ways on the offensive glass. A healthy Robinson would almost guarantee that happens, as he has averaged 5.4 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes for his career and snagged a staggering 6.7 per 36 this season.”

The Knicks lost to the Indiana Pacers in the second round of this year’s playoffs in seven games. 

Meanwhile, the Grizzlies missed the postseason. 

“With Ja Morant back driving this attack next season, Memphis should again be putting constant downhill pressure on opposing defenses,” Buckley wrote. “When they sell out on stopping his dribble penetrations, they leave themselves vulnerable on the offensive glass. That’s how this offense produces a season like the 2021-22 campaign, when it was fourth in efficiency despite being just 24th in true shooting. That’s what a whopping—and league-leading—33.8 offensive rebounding percentage can do.

“If the Knicks give up Robinson in a deal that doesn’t deliver a star, it would make sense to prioritize trade pieces that could eventually bring one back. The picks would give this front office more negotiating chips to toss around, while Kennard could add value with either his 43.9 career three-point percentage or his expiring $14.8 million team option.”

One of the top shooters in the NBA, Kennard averaged 11.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists this season while shooting 44.8% overall, 45.0% from beyond the arc and 88.9% from the foul line. The lefty has a club option worth $14.8 million for 2024-25. 

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