As expected, the Knicks exercised the $1.8 million fourth-year team option of center Mitchell Robinson on Saturday.
Robinson, drafted in 2018 in the second round, can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2022, but the Knicks are hopeful of signing the 23-year-old 7-footer to an extension well before that. He’s been on a team-friendly contract since being taken 36th in the draft and signing a four-year deal.
Meanwhile, the Knicks, who ended a seven-season playoff drought, waived third-string shot-blocking center Norvel Pelle after drafting Texas center Jericho Sims with the 58th pick of the second round. Sims, the 6-foot-10 athletic defensive specialist, could sign a two-way contract, which would allow him to play at least 50 games this season.
Pelle being waived likely indicates there’s a solid chance of Taj Gibson making his way back onto the roster at age 36. A source says Pelle could be re-signed in an emergency during 2021-22.
Robinson had a gravely unlucky season that included two separate major injuries – first a broken hand, then a season-ending broken foot in March. The Knicks felt Robinson’s loss the most in the first-round series versus Atlanta when Hawks center Clint Capela dominated them.
The market value on Robinson is tough to gauge since he played just 31 games this season. He averaged 8.3 points and 8.1 rebounds. He’s on his sixth agent – Thad Foucher of the Wasserman Group.