Knicks Could Have a Trade Partner for Julius Randle: Report

julius randle shaq

Getty Julius Randle of the New York Knicks.

The New York Knicks may have missed out on Donovan Mitchell, but that doesn’t mean they are done making moves.

With Julius Randle still on the roster, the path for former lottery pick Obi Toppin to get more minutes is a complicated one. Randle’s four-year, $117 million extension kicks in this season, and that means New York will have three players making over $100 million per season in the coming years.

Randle, Jalen Brunson and RJ Barrett will all be $100 million men by the time the 2023-24 season rolls around, and with none of them being All-Stars, that’s a lot of money that’s tied up into a “Mid 3” as some fans are calling it.

A way to avoid this scenario would be trading one of the three, and with Barrett and Brunson seemingly going nowhere, Randle remains the most likely candidate to be moved.

Randle has been shopped around in the past, but he’s proven difficult to move so far. The Sacramento Kings have shown an interest in acquiring him, and most recently that was floated in a deal that would have secured the Knicks the number four pick in the NBA Draft.

Obviously, none of that has happened, but the New York Post’s Marc Berman reveals the Kings could still be looking at bringing on the veteran forward, especially in the absence of Domantas Sabonis in Sacramento.


Hope Remains


MARC BERMAN on Ainge angst, RJ a box office consolation prize, Grimes + Obi big mins & Cam's future!Like & Subscribe! THE AFTERMATH! Unpacking what's next with @NYPost_Berman ! – Clarifying Ainge angst – RJ Barrett a box office consolation prize – Thibs looking to play Grimes and Obi – Clarifying Cam Reddish situation – Gerson Rosas involvement – Thibs on the clock? & MORE #Knicks #newyorkforever #donovanmitchell2022-09-05T15:43:37Z

For the subsection of Knicks fans who are hoping to see Toppin get more minutes, they might want to hang onto the hope the Kings are still trying to bring on Randle.

They definitely talked to the Kings about Julius,” Berman said in an interview with KnicksBuzz. “I think Sacramento could still have some interest in Julius. I know Harrison Barnes was talked about.”

Randle is a 20/10/5 player on any given night, so his contract isn’t the worst thing in the world, but he proved last season that those numbers alone aren’t enough to get a team into the playoffs.

“It’s hard to trade Julius, at that time, so I don’t know if Sacramento would’ve given up [Tyrese Haliburton] for Julius,” he said. “And I think Sabonis is, right now, a safer player.”


Will Randle be Moved?

When asked if Randle was going to be here for the foreseeable future, Berman explained how it’s a strange situation.

“Well, it’s definitely awkward,” he said. “I mean the coaching staff knows it’s awkward. They want to play Obi. I’ve said on the show that Tom started to really like Obi Toppin late in the season. It finally clicked with Tom.”

At the moment, it comes down to finding a team, whether that’s the Kings or not, looking to add on a high-priced forward that might not necessarily impact winning. The Athletic’s Fred Katz says there are teams listening to calls for him, but nobody is dying to have him on their team.

“I can’t speak for all 30 teams,” he said. “Maybe there is a front office I haven’t heard about that is seeking out Randle. But if there were, I would be surprised. It’s not like the Knicks are clinging onto him. If you call them about Randle, they’re listening to your offer.”

Perhaps the right fit for Randle hasn’t appeared yet and finding a trade partner might get easier once the season starts and injuries crop up.

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