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Mitchell Robinson is staying with the New York Knicks after agreeing to a four-year, $60 million contract. According to Spotrac, Robinson's salary for next season will start at $13,392,857 and peak at $16,607,143 in the final year. The 7'0" center averaged 8.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and almost 2 blocks per game since being selected 36th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft.

While it doesn't seem like a monumental signing... it kind of is. This deal with Robinson actually breaks an infamous Knicks tradition that many have referred to as the "The Charlie Ward Curse."

Let's be real: the Knicks are hardly known for their ability to rebuild through the draft. As such, they had not given a second contract to any of their draft picks since Charlie Ward, who was selected 26th overall all the way back in the 1994 draft. He stayed in the organization until 2004.

In 28 years since, the Knicks have selected more than 30 players who could become eligible for a second contract. Only Ward and now Robinson have worked out in New York.

There were some close calls to the curse being broken before Robinson signed his new deal, though:

  • Two 2005 draft picks, Nate Robinson and David Lee, did sign one-year extensions. However, both were traded in 2010, the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors, respectively.
  • In January, the Knicks traded Kevin Knox -- the No. 9 pick in the 2018 draft -- to the Atlanta Hawks. At 22, Knox was the longest-tenured player for the Knicks at that time. Sounds crazy, but he took that role after the Knicks sent 23-year-old Frank Ntilikina --selected eighth overall in the 2017 draft -- to the Dallas Mavericks four months earlier. 
  • Someone else that ended with the Mavericks via New York was Kristaps Porzingis, who is now with the Washington Wizards but was at one point Luka Doncic's right-hand man. Porzingis was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 draft for the Knicks.

Perhaps Robinson breaking the curse will be one of the pieces that sets the Knicks on the right path. Other recent moves include signing Maverick's point guard, and second-leading scorer, Jalen Brunson to a four-year, $104 million contract. Bruson was the top Knicks' priority in free agency and will help strengthen the back court.

Meanwhile, RJ Barrett is entering the final guaranteed year of his rookie deal, which means the Knicks would be wise to finalize the extension negotiation soon. 

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