The Bulls could be the main threat to take Mitchell Robinson away from the Knicks in free agency this summer, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Chicago and the Pistons were among teams that engaged in trade talks about Robinson prior to February’s deadline, Berman writes, but Knicks officials decided to hang onto the fourth-year center through the rest of the season.
The Bulls are still doing research on Robinson, sources tell Berman, and have interest in pairing him with center Nikola Vucevic to improve their interior defense. If Chicago re-signs free agent guard Zach LaVine, the team would likely operated over the cap and be limited to the mid-level exception. The Mavericks, who were rumored to have interest in Robinson at one time, are now expected to pursue less costly alternatives, according to Berman’s source.
Berman reported in February that Robinson was likely to leave if he couldn’t reach a new contract with the Knicks prior to free agency, but he’s now expected to take the best offer he can find, even if that means staying in New York, Berman adds. A source tells Berman that the Knicks’ major concern with Robinson involves maturity and how he might respond once he has a guaranteed deal.
There’s more from the Central Division:
- Comments about continuity from Bulls executive vice president Arturas Karnišovas indicate that he’s serious about re-signing LaVine and keeping the rest of the team’s nucleus together, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago. Johnson believes Chicago plans to add depth through the draft and cap exceptions rather than seeking a significant trade.
- The Bucks will promote Charles Lee to associate head coach, filling the spot vacated by new Lakers coach Darvin Ham, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. Lee interviewed Friday for the head coaching slot with the Jazz, according to Tony Jones of The Athletic (Twitter link).
- Arizona guard Bennedict Mathurin worked out Friday for the Pacers, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. Mathurin didn’t talk to the media, but he told Agness at last month’s draft combine that his main concern is landing in the best situation. “It’s not about going high or low, it’s all about going to the right spot,” he said. “And I’ll bring winning to the team. I want to go to a team and win a championship and get better as a player.”
- Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis has a workout scheduled with the Pacers on Monday, Agness tweets.