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Knicks' Mitchell Robinson named to NBA's All-Rookie second team

Mitchell Robinson against the Orlando Magic during the

Mitchell Robinson against the Orlando Magic during the second half at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 26, 2019. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

There were few wins on the court for the Knicks this season, but the team can lay claim to one victory after Mitchell Robinson was named to the NBA’s All-Rookie second team Tuesday.

Robinson, one of three Knicks rookies with prominent roles as the team went with a youth movement in a 17-65 season, was the Knicks' lone representative on the squad. Kevin Knox, who was selected No. 9 overall last summer and was the Eastern Conference Player of the Month in December, was left off the team, as was undrafted free agent Allonzo Trier.

“It feels great,” Robinson said. “I was the 36th pick. My hard work paid off. The Knicks believe in me and have helped me become a better player.”

Robinson was named on three first-team ballots and 71 second-team ballots. Knox ranked 12th in the voting with 22 second-team votes. Trier had 10 second-team votes, finishing 15th in the balloting.

Robinson, who started 19 games, finished first among rookies and second overall in blocked shots per game (behind Indiana’s Myles Turner) with 2.44. He set a franchise rookie record with 161 blocked shots, shattering the record of 134 set by Kristaps Porzingis, and his 2.44 blocked shots per game surpassed Patrick Ewing’s rookie mark of 2.06 per game. He also led all rookies in field-goal percentage (69.4 percent).

Robinson was selected by the Knicks in the second round, No. 36 overall, after spending the prior year in limbo. He was a Top 10 recruit, and a McDonald’s All-American bound for Western Kentucky. But he left the program in July before his freshman year began, visited other schools and then re-enrolled at WKU before opting to skip the season completely and train for the draft. It certainly dropped his draft status, allowing the Knicks to grab him with their second pick.

Robinson, who went from a shy 20-year-old in training camp to one of the loudest voices in the locker room, said of his highlight this season, “My first double-double because it was against DeAndre [Jordan, before he was traded from Dallas to the Knicks]. I remind him of that every day.”

Stay or go

Frank Ntilikina has swapped out his agents from CAA and Richie Felder, who had played a large part in Ntilikina’s coming to America at 18 years old, for French agency Comsports and Buona Ndiaye. That led to conflicting reports — one stating that Ntilikina dumped CAA after they failed to help him get traded at the deadline in February and another quoting Ndiaye insisting that Ntilikina is happy in New York.

Ndiaye did not respond immediately to an email, but one person close to Ntilikina said that he has not sought a way out of New York. Of course, he may not have much say in it. As the Knicks are executing their rebuild this summer Ntilikina is the highest-paid player currently on the roster for next season at $4.85 million as long as the Knicks don’t pick up Lance Thomas’ $7.6 million option. 

The Knicks traded for Dennis Smith Jr., who is just slightly lower paid as a result of being drafted one spot behind Ntilikina, and will be able to pay two max-salary free agents — with Boston’s Kyrie Irving reportedly one of the targets.


Player, Team, Total points (First-team votes)

Luka Doncic, Mavericks 200 (100)

Trae Young, Hawks 200 (100)

Deandre Ayton, Suns 195 (95)

Jaren Jackson Jr., Grizzlies 159 (60)

Marvin Bagley III, Kings 156 (56)


Player, Team, Total points (First-team votes)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Clippers 138 (40)

Collin Sexton, Cavaliers 132 (39)

Landry Shamet, Clippers 85 (3)

Mitchell Robinson, Knicks 99 (3)

Kevin Huerter, Hawks 45 (1)

Receiving votes

Player, Team, total points

Mikal Bridges, Suns 31

Kevin Knox, Knicks 22

Josh Okogie, Timberwolves 12

Jalen Brunson, Mavericks 10

Allonzo Trier, Knicks 10

Rodions Kurucs, Nets 9

Wendell Carter Jr., Bulls 7

Miles Bridges, Hornets 6

Bruce Brown, Pistons 2

Harry Giles III, Kings 2

Mo Bamba, Magic 1

Aaron Holiday, Pacers 1

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