The New York Knicks have had a mixed season so far. The team has a record of 8-8 and recently lost to the Golden State Warriors on Nov. 18, where the team struggled to gain traction on offense.
Julius Randle has also had a mixed season so far. The power forward is in his fourth season as a member of the Knicks and hasn’t gotten back to his All-Star form from two seasons prior.
Though Randle has had great games on the season through the first 16 games, such as the victory against the Denver Nuggets where he put up a state line of 34 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and four steals while also making impactful hustle plays down the stretch, he has also had games where he lacks energy on the defensive end such as the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 13.
On the season, Randle is averaging 21.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. He is also shooting 46 percent from the field and over 33 percent from three-point range, which both shooting percentages are an improvement from last season.
The stats look good, and Randle has shot the ball better, which could mean that the 27-year-old’s trade value could have increased. Last season, other teams around the league were hesitant about Randle due to a variety of factors that included his contract extension, poor efficiency, and lackluster body language.
Fast-forward to this season, Randle has looked more engaged with the team and has credited Jalen Brunson for helping take some pressure off of him. Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports spoke to an Eastern Conference executive and got comments on Randle’s current trade value.
Exec Talks Value of Randle
When Deveney talked to the Eastern Conference executive about the trade value of Randle, the executive had a positive assessment of what the other teams around the league think of Randle and his play so far on the season.
“They’re better now (trade value) because they have taken the ball out of his hands more, he has less pressure on him,” the executive told Deveney when analyzing Randle’s value and performance on the season. “He can worry about rebounding and shooting. He does not have to worry about everything.”
Randle has had less pressure on him this season due to Brunson’s impact at the point guard position. Brunson is averaging 19.6 points on the season and has the responsibility of being the main playmaker on the team.
“He’s shooting it better, so that helps, and every time a year comes off that contract, he gets more valuable–so, at the end of the year, he might be that much more worth a trade. The big thing is defense. That holds him back.”
Randle’s shooting has improved heavily from three-point range over the past two weeks and started his hot streak in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he made eight 3-pointers.
Toppin’s Minutes This Season
A disappointment this season is the minutes’ Knicks power forward Obi Toppin is averaging this season. Toppin is playing 18.2 minutes on the season and has had several games where he played only 15 minutes in a contest.
This can come off as a slight for Toppin, who has been one of the best shooters on the team, shooting over 38 percent from distance.
Head coach Tom Thibideau has praised Toppin’s work ethic and shooting but hasn’t translated to minutes Toppin should be playing due to his efficient shooting and energy spark off the bench.
Toppin is averaging 9.3 points and 4.1 rebounds while also shooting 46 percent from the field.