Bulls Could be the Knicks' "Main Competitors" for Big Man Mitchell Robinson

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Bulls Could be the Knicks’ “Main Competitors” for Big Man Mitchell Robinson

Chicago Bulls

As the Knicks attempt to keep free-agent center Mitchell Robinson in New York, the Chicago Bulls could try to convince him otherwise.

Rumors of a Bulls-Robinson tie first surfaced shortly after this season’s trade deadline, when Marc Berman (New York Post) reported that Chicago was one of several teams to do their due diligence on acquiring the big man. Berman has now reiterated that point, saying New York cut off conversations about Robinson with Chicago (and Detroit) 24 hours before the trade deadline.

Berman also added that Arturas Karnisovas and Co. have not backed down in their Robinson pursuit, as the 24-year-old center is set to hit unrestricted free agency next month.

The Post has learned the Bulls are continuing to do their research on Robinson ahead of the July 1 free-agency period. The Bulls could be the main competitors for Robinson if the Knicks don’t lock him up to a contract extension on June 30.

The Bulls want to enhance their interior defense and believe Robinson could be a good fit slotted alongside offensive center Nikola Vucevic.

Berman’s report comes in the same week that The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor also connected Robinson back to the Bulls. However, that news was aggressively overshadowed by the coinciding report that Rudy Gobert was, too, considered on the table.

Regardless, these latest report from Berman on Chicago’s interest in Robinson’s services is the most concrete we’ve gotten so far. To label them as potentially the “main competitors” suggests that there is a genuine belief they could put up quite the fight this summer. And there are certainly several good reasons to do that.

Robinson may not provide the flashy impact of a Gobert or Ayton, but he would be a cheaper option who still possesses plenty of long-term upside. Rather than reword what I’ve already discussed, here’s some more about Robinson from our post about the initial post-trade-deadline news:

Put that unfortunate foul aside, and it’s not hard to believe the Bulls did pick up the phone and ask about the Knicks center. Robinson is a rim-protecting menace who stands seven-feet tall with a seven-foot-four wingspan. He’s averaged just under 2.0 blocks per game over his career to go along with a defensive box plus-minus that has remained positive all four seasons of his career. This year, Robinson has appeared in 51 games (starting 42) while averaging 8.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game. His 78 percent mark at the rim this season also ranks in the NBA’s 95th percentile, per Cleaning the Glass.

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.