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NBA Trade Rumors: Mitchell Robinson ‘has fans in Pistons organization’

Pistons have reportedly inquired about the pending unrestricted free agent

Sacramento Kings v New York Knicks Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Detroit Pistons reportedly have interest in New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson, according to Ian Begley of SNY.

There is nothing imminent, and Begley only goes so far as to say it might behoove the Knicks of trading a pending free agent now if they don’t have plans on signing him to a new deal in the offseason, and that the Pistons are one organization “with a degree of interest” in Robinson.

It would make sense that the Pistons are interested in a 23-year-old center who can play solid defense, rebound the ball and block shots. Center is the team’s most shallow position, and second-year player often looks undersized and overmatched in a starting role this season.

Center is a crowded position in New York with Nerlens Noel fresh off a new multi-year deal, young Obi Toppin fighting for minutes and Tom Thibodeau’s favorite Taj Gibson still providing a spark off the bench. It makes sense that Robinson might not be in the team’s long-term plans, but there is no clear indication what it would cost to pry Robinson away from New York this season.

It should also be noted, there is no indication what Detroit would be willing to give up, if anything, to trade for Robinson when they could sign him outright this offseason when he is an unrestricted free agent and the Pistons are poised to have the most cap space of any team.

From a cap standpoint, it could make sense to trade for Mitchell now as opposed to waiting is that the Pistons could trade for Mitchell and only Robinson’s cap hold would count against the cap. That would free the Pistons to use their projected $28 million in cap space on a different target and then exceed the cap to sign Robinson to a new deal.

Still, if I had to put a number on it, I’d say this rumor has about a 2 on a 10-point scale of liklihood. It’s just one of those rumors you see in the final week before the trade deadline.