3-Team Knicks Trade Pitch Would Move Julius Randle for $90 Million Star

New York Knicks, Mikal Bridges, Julius Randle

Getty Julius Randle being defended by Mikal Bridges.

The New York Knicks have Julius Randle and eight first-round picks to trade this offseason, making them a candidate to land an elite player. Looking at potential trades, Jake Uitti of The Sporting News proposed a deal that’d send Randle for Mikal Bridges in a three-team deal involving the Brooklyn Nets and Atlanta Hawks.

Knicks would get: Bridges

Hawks would get: Randle, Dorian Finney-Smith, draft picks

Nets would get: Trae Young

“According to the NBA Trade Machine, this is a successful trade, despite the massive salaries changing hands. On top of that, this solves a lot of problems for each of the three franchises,” Uitti wrote in his May 25 column exploring NBA trades. “The Knicks complete the Villanova reunion with Bridges joining his old college teammates Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Josh Hart.

“The Hawks get off of Trae’s big contract, solve their backcourt issues (by choosing to keep Dejounte Murray) and bring in some size and wing depth along with a few of draft picks from New York. And the Nets become relevant again with a former All-NBA player and three-time All-Star in Young, who can put up numbers in a market that desperately needs eyeballs.”

Bridge, who will turn 28 before the 2024-25 season, is playing on a four-year, $90 million contract.

New York Knicks ‘Going to Try to Overpay’ for Mikal Bridges

The Brooklyn Nets will need draft compensation in any deal that involves Bridges due to the limited amount of assets the franchise currently has. Moving Bridges would signal an indication of change, a potential franchise-changing decision.

It’s uncertain what a deal for Bridges would look like, but Bill Simmons of The Ringer said on an episode of “The Bill Simmons Podcast” that he believes the New York Knicks are “going to try and overpay” for Bridges.

“They have a lot of options. I really think they’re going to get Mikal Bridges as the big target. I think that’s who they want,” Simmons said on May 20. “I think they’re going to try and overpay because I think they want those four Villanova guys together, and I don’t think they want like a major star. They want somebody like that.”

With all of the assets they have, the Knicks front office could overpay if they believe Bridges would help them win a championship.

How Bridges Would Help the Knicks

Bridges proved during his time with the Brooklyn Nets that he’s an elite player, averaging 26.1 points per game for them in the 27 games he played for them in the 2022-23 season.

To follow up on his breakout year, the All-Defensive team selection in 2021-22 averaged 19.6 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.6 assists. While his numbers went down in his second season for the Nets, he wouldn’t need to be the focus on offense for the New York Knicks like he was in Brooklyn.

Bridges’ best strength is his availability. He’s played in every game during his NBA career, an impressive accomplishment in this era.

On top of his availability, Bridges is an elite defender with an improved three-point shot. He shot 37.2% from three on 7.2 attempts, making him someone who could open the Knicks offense up.

Reuniting with Jalen Brunson, Josh Hart, and Donte DiVincenzo would be one of the top storylines in the NBA, putting even more eyes on the Knicks.

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