Future Watch: Mitchell Robinson Rookie Basketball Cards, Knicks
Mitchell Robinson was born in Pensacola, Florida in 1998. He was drawn to basketball after a growth spurt in eighth grade that took him from 6’2” to 7’0”. In his freshman and sophomore seasons with Pine Forrest High School in Pensacola, he didn’t make much of an impact. He would transfer to Chalmette High School in Louisiana for his junior and senior seasons.
As a junior, Robinson helped lead the Chalmette Owls to their first state playoff win in 19 years. On the year, he averaged 20.9 points, 13.6 rebounds, 8.1 blocks and two steals per game. Robinson would earn all-district, all-Metro and all-State honors that year. In his senior season, he averaged 25.7 points, 12.6 rebounds and six blocks per game. He would lead Chalmette to their first championship in their own regular season tournament in 20 years. In the Owls’ four game state playoff run, Robinson averaged 34.5 points, 13.5 boards and 7.8 blocks. Robinson would be the first Chalmette basketball player to earn McDonald’s All-American honors.
Journey to the NBA
Robinson’s college experience was extremely brief and uneventful. He would initially commit to play for Texas A&M, but de-committed to follow coach Rick Stansbury (the Texas A&M assistant coach who recruited him) to Western Kentucky. Robinson would practice with the team at Western Kentucky during the summer of 2017 but left the team after a transfer request. The NCAA declared he would have to sit out the entire 2017-18 season, which led Robinson to the decision to forgo college and spend the year preparing for the 2018 NBA draft. He would be the first player to make such a decision.
Robinson was initially going to attend the 2018 combine but withdrew his name shortly before the event. Scouts still had plenty of information on him and saw a solid NBA prospect. Measuring 7’0” with a 7’4” wingspan, Robinson shows strong athletic ability for the center position. He plays above the rim with an effortless ability to catch lobs for easy baskets. His timing as a shot blocker is exceptional and makes him a fierce rim protector. Offensively, he’s quite raw. His points will come off rebounds or from lobs inside three feet of the basket. Robinson isn’t the type of center who can space the floor with his shooting ability. He is most effective when he is in the paint on offense and defense.
From Second Round to Starter
On draft night, the New York Knicks selected Mitchell Robinson with the 36th overall pick. He would appear in the 2018 Summer League where he set a league record for blocked shots and offensive rebounds. After the summer, Robinson signed a multi-year rookie scale contract with the Knicks. In 44 games this season, he’s averaging 18 minutes per contest. He currently leads all rookies with 97 blocks, an average of 2.2 per game. In a 130-118 win over the Spurs on February 24th, he played 30 minutes and finished with 15 points, 14 boards and five blocks.
The Knicks are fully committed to tanking this season with their eyes on the 2019 free agent class. It’s in their best interest to give Robinson consistent minutes down the stretch. With space for two max contract this offseason, the Knicks will need players like Robinson on their roster. On a rookie scale contract, he can fill a crucial role for the team as a tenacious rim protector.
Knicks fans and collectors should already be aware of Mitchell Robinson. Dennis Smith Jr. helped put him on the national radar this week with the off the glass pass that lead to a highlight reel dunk. There are great deals to be had on his rookie cards right now. Don’t delay! Get him into your collection. Look for his NBA rookie cards with certified autographs in 2018-19 Panini Prizm, Donruss Optic, Revolution and more to come!
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