Julius Randle’s Long-Term Future With Knicks Hinges on 1 Factor: Report

Knicks' Julius Randle against Pacers' Obi Toppin

Getty Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks shoots the ball while defended by Obi Toppin #1 of the Indiana Pacers.

Julius Randle‘s long-term future with the New York Knicks would largely depend on the availability of a star trade.

“The Knicks are not trying to trade Randle, but they recognize that their quest for a star could require having to do so. If a suitable target does not pop up this summer, then they could turn their eyes to the 2025 trade deadline, hoping to land one then,” Fred Katz of The Athletic wrote on May 24.

Randle is eligible to sign as much as a four-year, $181.5 million extension on August 3. But after Randle underwent a major surgery in consecutive seasons, the Knicks are in a tricky spot. It could have been an easy decision had Randle not dislocated his right shoulder on January 27 and the Knicks reached the Eastern Conference Finals.

But here they are, still licking the wounds of a second-round loss to the Indiana Pacers, pondering the “What If” as they blew a 2-0 and 3-2 series leads with their injuries and facing a big financial decision on their three-time All-Star forward, who hasn’t played great or been absent because of injuries in the playoffs.

If the Knicks do not extend Randle this summer, he would enter the final guaranteed season of his current four-year, $117 million contract with a $29.4 million player option for the 2025-26 season.

After being durable for most of the first four seasons of his Knicks career, Randle just played for 46 games this season. But he still averaged 24.0 points on 47.2% overall shooting and 31.1% 3-point shooting, 9.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists in 35.4 minutes to earn his third All-Star selection despite his slow start from ankle surgery recovery last summer.

Randle would turn 30 next season.

Teams Are Monitoring Julius Randle’s Extension

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday, May 20, that teams are monitoring Randle’s looming extension with the Knicks.

Aside from the maximum four-year deal the Knicks can offer, Randle can also tuck in an additional three-year $140.3 million extension if he opts in to his player option, according to ESPN’s front office insider Bobby Marks.

“Either way, it’s significant money,” Charania said on “Run It Back” on FanDuel TV. “Teams are monitoring the situation for sure because of how [the Knicks] handle that extension situation — if that is a conversation, what transpires I think that will be interesting because when you think about movable assets salaries, obviously Julius Randle has got the number if you are to make a big, big trade.”

If the Knicks strike out on a star trade this summer and do not extend Randle, the two-time All-NBA forward could be eligible for a maximum of five-year deal worth more than $300 million in 2025 free agency, according to Forbes.

Nate Robinson Bats for Julius Randle-Zion Williamson Swap

In an exclusive interview with Heavy Sports last month, former Knicks guard Nate Robinson pushed for a blockbuster trade to acquire New Orleans Pelicans star Zion Williamson.

“I will probably trade and try to get Zion to New York City and then get a trainer and a nutritionist for him to get his body right,” Robinson told Heavy Sports in a media availability courtesy of bet365. “And I will tell Zion, I want the Zion that came out of Duke. I want the Duke [version of] Zion. That’s all they need.”

But such a dream trade would be at the expense of Randle, who plays the same position as Williamson.

“Who wouldn’t? You gotta give up some stuff to get the player that you want,” the 3-time NBA Slam Dunk champion said.