Western Conference Rival Interested in Former Knicks All-Star: Report

julius randle deaaron fox trade

Getty Could Randle really be shipped out of town?

The New York Knicks are in the running for landing Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell, and if that happens then they might be able to flip a former All-Star in the process.

With the Jazz listening to offers for Mitchell, the Knicks are expected to be the frontrunners in landing him as they have the best selection of young players and picks to offer.

If the Knicks pull it off, the Los Angeles Lakers could emerge and take on Julius Randle in a reunion with their former draft pick.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, there is a real possibility this could happen and he said as much on a Spotify Live session. Transcribed by Twitter user RichStapless, Stein cites a “plugged in” source that says trade talks could begin.

Randle Back to Lakers

The Lakers are looking to retool their roster and go on another championship run before LeBron James hits retirement, so time is running out. The Russell Westbrook experiment didn’t work out, but it looks like they might have to run it back with him unless they find some way to offload him.

One such way could be a swap for Julius Randle. Stein says if the Knicks pull off the Mitchell trade, the Lakers would open up talks with New York about bringing back Randle. Despite Randle’s four-year, $117 million extension that kicks in this season, the Lakers seem okay with paying him that for the long haul.

Randle is a consistent 20/10/5 threat, and although he regressed from his All-NBA season last year, he still put up big numbers. If he goes from being the lead option like he is in New York to being the third option, that contract could turn into a steal and his productivity won’t be under the same scrutiny.

There’s no guarantee this trade would ever come to fruition, but the door seems to be open for the possibility.

Is Randle Being Shopped?

Randle always seemed like he’d be the odd man out in a trade for the Knicks, and while players like Nerlens Noel, Kemba Walker and Alec Burks have already been traded, those contracts didn’t carry the same weight Randle’s did.

Stein argues the Knicks can’t afford to pay a bunch of players over $100 million, and bringing in Mitchell would add another player to that group.

“Keep an eye on them because the Knicks will have to look to get off salary, realistically,” Stein said. “They’re taking on [Donovan Mitchell’s] contract, they just made Brunson $100 million player, and they’re going to extend RJ Barrett. They can’t have four guys making $100 million realistically if you want any flexibility to improve the team beyond that. So that has led other teams to the belief that the Knicks would look into trading Julius Randle. And I’ve also been led to believe that Julius Randle is right on that line.”

Brunson isn’t going anywhere, Barrett doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, and that would leave Randle as the player who could be moved. Perhaps a reunion with the Lakers isn’t all that impossible.

READ NEXT: Major Hurdle Emerges in Knicks Donovan Mitchell Trade: Report

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