When Mitchell Robinson was injured, some of the Knicks said the club was open to act as a “buyer” or “seller” when the contract expired. At the time, some members of the organization thought they might still be salespeople if New York struggled during Robinson’s absence and got out of the playoff contention.
It didn’t happen. New York is 6-2 without Robinson. Nerlens Noel deserves credit for stabilizing things in Robinson’s absence.
Since he replaced the injured Robinson in the starting lineup, Noel has averaged seven rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.1 blocks in 31 minutes per game. Against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, Noel had 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. In the last eight games, New York has a net score of +2.4 with Noel in the room.
So, thanks to the strong play of Noel and the rest of the group, the Knicks are much more likely to be buyers than sellers. It will be interesting to see how much New York is willing to give up to acquire a player upon expiration.
In conversations about veterans who could help the club win this season, the Knicks have shown no willingness to part with first-round picks.
It seems reasonable to expect that Ntilikina, Kevin Knox and Rivers would be available in the right arrangements.