While the trade chatter involving Anthony Davis swirled ahead of the NBA trade deadline, one situation that flew under the radar involved another New Orleans Pelicans player. The team opted to consider trading a few of their players, one of which was Julius Randle along with Nikola Mirotic. While Mirotic was eventually dealt to the Milwaukee Bucks, no movement came on Randle, leaving him in New Orleans for the remainder of the season.
But with Randle’s contract featuring a player option for the 2019-20 season, he has the ability to opt out and become a free agent after the year, per Spotrac. And if things play out that way, it’s likely the 24-year-old will have a strong market.
Even more specifically, the interest from the Dallas Mavericks could (and should) be there. Apparently, Randle has eyes for the Mavericks at this point and if the team opts to make a push for him in free agency, the pairing could be realistic according to recent rumblings.
Julius Randle’s Interest in Mavericks
After Randle’s big game on Thursday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder in which he posted 33 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, it grabbed plenty of attention. Mike Bacsik of 105.3 The Fan tweeted that the Mavericks should “go get Julius Randle in free agency.”
Following that tweet, the topic of Randle possibly not having interest in Dallas was tossed out, but Ben Rogers of 105.3 The Fan said he’s hearing the forward “very much” wants to play for the Mavericks.
It would certainly be an appealing fit for the two sides, and Randle is capable of playing center and potentially fitting alongside recently-acquired forward Kristaps Porzingis. He’s played well alongside Davis this year in New Orleans and has the upside to provide a major spark on both ends for the Mavericks.
Julius Randle’s Impressive Recent Play
After posting a career-best 16.2 points per game on 55.8 percent shooting in 2017-18 with the Los Angeles Lakers (and 8.0 rebounds), he’s been even better through 52 games with the Pelicans. Randle is currently averaging 20.2 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and shooting 54 percent from the field. He’s also knocked down 34.3 percent of his 3-point attempts, an area of his game that he’s added this season.
Randle looks like the player who had tremendous upside coming out of college that was selected No. 7 overall in the 2014 NBA Draft. If his strong play continues through the remainder of this season, there’s a good chance he’ll receive a big payday after the year and a long-term contract as well.