Knicks Trade Pitch Would Move Julius Randle & More for 5-Time All-NBA Selection

New York Knicks, Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat, Julius Randle

Getty Julius Randle makes a move.

The New York Knicks could look to pair Jalen Brunson with a new co-star this offseason. In most deals, due to salaries, Julius Randle would have to be dealt. Sam Quinn of CBS Sports put together a trade idea that involves Randle for Jimmy Butler of the Miami Heat.

Knicks would get: Butler

Heat would get: Randle, Bojan Bogdanovic, picks

“New York’s path to a deal is far easier than it would be for the Lakers. Julius Randle and Bojan Bogdanovic can match money. The Knicks have so many picks to trade that coming up with the necessary player value would be less important (though doesn’t Deuce McBride seem like a class Heat player?)

“Tom Thibodeau has coached Butler in both Minnesota and Chicago, so he’d likely be comfortable with his peculiarities,” Quinn wrote in his June 19 article exploring where Butler could land if he’s traded. “The Knicks may prefer to wait for a younger star to hit the market, but Butler puts them neck-and-neck with the Celtics atop the East right now.”

‘Keep an Eye On’ Jimmy Butler to the Knicks

Butler is eligible to sign a two-year, $113 million contract extension this offseason. Jack Maloney of CBS Sports wrote that he wants the extension, but Pat Riley and others in the Miami Heat organization “do not seem keen on paying him that much.”

“Jimmy Butler is under contract for $48.8 million next season, then has a player option for $52.4 million in 2025-26,” Maloney wrote on May 29. “Per reports, he’s seeking a two-year, $113 million max extension from Miami. Pat Riley and Co. do not seem keen on paying him that much.”

If the Heat don’t want to pay Butler and he requests a trade, the New York Knicks have the picks and players to make it happen.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, while appearing on “The Putback,” he said to “keep an eye on” the situation.

“When it comes down to just draft capital, I think the Knicks would be right there with any team that they want to get involved with conversation-wise,” Begley said on June 18. “So Butler, I think you can keep an eye on.”

Butler and Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau have a history, as Butler played for Thibodeau with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Is Butler an Upgrade Over Julius Randle?

Randle, 29, is a much different player than Butler. Butler will turn 35 before the 2024-25 season, too, which is something the New York Knicks will have to think about in any trade where they move Randle.

In terms of regular season statistics, Randle has been the better player over the past few years. In his 77 games in 2022-23, the two-time All-NBA selection averaged 25.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. He only played in 46 games last season due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.

Butler, a five-time All-NBA selection, appeared in 60 games this past season, averaging 20.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and five assists per game.

While the regular season numbers favor Randle, Butler has been the better playoff performer recently. In 2022-23, when Butler carried the Miami Heat to the NBA Finals for the second time in four seasons, he averaged 26.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game.

Randle’s playoff struggles continued in the 2022-23 season, as he averaged 16.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 3.6 assists per game. He also shot just 37.4% from the field and 25.8% from 3-point range on 6.6 attempts per game.

If he replicates his previous playoff success, Butler could be exactly what the Knicks need next to Brunson.

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