Knicks ‘Dream’ Target Would Involve Trade Package Around Julius Randle

New York Knicks, Julius Randle, Mikal Bridges

Getty Julius Randle smiling.

The New York Knicks have long been rumored to have an interest in Mikal Bridges, forming the final piece to the Villanova Knicks. Listing every “dream” trade target for all NBA teams, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report listed Bridges for the Knicks. However, he wrote that the trade package would be based around Julius Randle.

“With Jalen Brunson serving as the primary scorer, Bridges can play a complementary offensive role, somewhere between his responsibilities with the Suns and Nets.

“A trade based around Bridges and Julius Randle would make sense, as the Nets would want win-now pieces in return,” Swartz wrote. “A starting five of Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo, Bridges, Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein/Mitchell Robinson with Hart as a sixth man might be the toughest, most physical in the league.”

Mikal Bridges Would Give the New York Knicks ‘The Most Talented Wing Role-Player Duo’

The New York Knicks will look to re-sign OG Anunoby this offseason. Anunoby’s viewed as one of the top players on the market, but after finding success with the Knicks, reuniting makes sense for both sides.

If they were to add Bridges, they’d be getting another player who can defend at an elite level. Opposing offenses would have an even tougher time than they already did against New York, as they finished with the ninth-best net rating in the NBA this past season.

David Vertsberger of SNY wrote that if the Knicks traded for Bridges, they’d form “the most talented wing role-player duo.” In that scenario, Anunoby would also re-sign.

“Bridges and Anunoby would create the most talented wing role-player duo in the league, and none of those who turned the Knicks from an ailing franchise to a perennial playoff team are lost,” Vertsberger wrote on March 27. “Bridges doesn’t need to shoot 20 times a game or operate from specific points on the floor, and would mesh well with the hard-working, defense-first culture established by Tom Thibodeau.”

Julius Randle or Bridges for the Knicks?

If landing Bridges meant they’d have to move Randle, the New York Knicks would have some tough decisions to make. Statistically, Randle has been the better player over the past few seasons on the offensive end.

In his last healthy season in 2022-23, Randle averaged 25.1 points, 10.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists. He shot 45.9% from the field on 18.6 attempts per game and 34.3% from three-point range on 8.3 attempts per game.

Bridges has played in every game since entering the NBA in 2018-19. He’s as reliable as they come and has improved his offensive game during his time with the Brooklyn Nets. In 2023-24, the 2021-22 Defensive Player of the Year runner-up averaged 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists.

Bridges shot 43.6% from the field on 15.8 attempts per game and 37.2% from three-point range on 7.2 attempts per game.

While Randle is 29 years old, Bridges is already 27 and will turn 28 before the next 2024-25 season.

When he was with the Phoenix Suns, he was more of a 3-and-D player, taking on a new role with the Nets as a No. 1 option. Bridges would likely return to what he was with the Suns if the Knicks traded for him as they already have their clear top option in Jalen Brunson.

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