Whatever you thought of the New York Knicks approach to this offseason, good or bad, is no longer relevant, with Julius Randle locked into an extension.
Coming off of their first playoff appearance since 2013, there was speculation as to whether or not Leon Rose and the front office would work to get a deal done with the team’s best player this summer.
That much can be silenced, with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reporting that Randle has signed on for four more years in New York, and $117-million:
The 26-year old is coming off a campaign that saw him go from role player to All-Star, and ultimately net the league’s Most Improved Player Award.
Randle averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and six assists across 71 appearances for the Knicks last season.
Now, he and the team will look to run it back, and make another run in the now-stacked Eastern Conference.
But it’s possible that both Julius Randle and the New York Knicks already have their eyes on what lies beyond the 2021-2022 season.
Wojnarowski: Randle Wanted to Give Knicks ‘Flexibility’
In his report regarding Julius Randle’s four-year extension, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski made sure to note that the All-Star signed this deal with intentions of helping the New York Knicks’ outlook.
If he had waited until next summer to sign a deal, it would have been worth over $200-million, per ESPN:
Randle could’ve waited for his contract to expire next season and signed a new $200 million deal, but extending now off his current $19.8 million salary for 2021-22 gives the Knicks financial flexibility to shape the roster and allows him to commit through his prime to a franchise and city he has come to adore — and one that has come to adore him.
After a 2019-2020 season with more lows than highs, Randle was able to experience the true experience that is winning in Madison Square Garden.
That much, has apparently sold him on his future with the Knicks.
Now, he’s giving back, hoping that his extension already inked will give New York some room to navigate further upgrades of the roster next summer.
Knicks Eyeing Another Splash in 2022?
It hasn’t yet happened, even with Kemba Walker en route to MSG, but the New York Knicks clearly feel they’re gaining momentum as a free agency destination.
So, they turn to next summer, when all of Bradley Beal, James Harden, and Zach LaVine could hit the free agency market.
With Julius Randle’s deal already under wraps, the Knicks’ front office will be able to monitor the disgruntled star market, and prepare in advance for a potential All-Star sweepstakes.
Fans should feel optimistic that things have already gotten this far in New York’s effort to rebrand the culture.
At this rate, not only will they be a competitor in the Eastern Conference again next season, but they could become the top destination for stars next summer.
And as it was last season, a lot of that will be in part credit to Julius Randle; his work ethic, his performance, and above all else, his commitment.