The New York Knicks are close to wrapping up a disappointing season where last year’s All-Star Julius Randle showed a bit of regression.
After making the All-NBA team last year, Randle didn’t put up the same efficiency this season, although he did put up good numbers.
Averaging 20 points per game along with 10 rebounds and five assists is nothing to scoff at, but his individual success didn’t turn into more wins. Throughout the season, Randle drew the ire of fans and infamously gave them a “thumbs down” gesture during a game at Madison Square Garden.
According to SNY’s Ian Begley, the Knicks received some interest from teams around the league before the trade deadline regarding the star forward. Obviously, the team didn’t find an offer they were blown away by, but it does seem to indicate that they will keep on getting calls on Randle in the offseason.
For the right price, the Knicks could be willing to move him.
Could Randle be Traded?
While Randle is still highly productive, some fans might feel his talents would be better suited on another team, especially as his price tag is getting ready to rise as his extension kicks in.
Begley revealed teams called about the forward in the hopes of getting him to play a different role with them.
“Several teams had interest in acquiring Randle,” he said. “The idea of kinda playing him in a different role than the Knicks have been playing him in. You know, they saw value there. They saw a player that can help you win. I say that to set up what may happen in the offseason.”
Randle can provide a lot of value to a team, and it is definitely possible that the fit is just off with the Knicks. With him needing to have the ball in his hand to be most effective, it does seem to clash with the emerging talent of RJ Barrett, and perhaps a change of scenery is needed.
Begley says the team should be open to offers, and that’s not just limited to Randle.
“Now, if you’re the Knicks I don’t think you’re turning your phone off with regards to teams calling you about potential trades, including Julius Randle.”
Can He Be Moved?
Despite the large contract, it does seem like he can be moved. Players that put up 20/10/5 don’t come around every day, so there would definitely be interest around the league in him if the Knicks make him available.
What New York would likely do is not just get rid of him for nothing, because he’s just one year removed from being an All-Star and a member of the All-NBA team. His effort has been called into question, and some of that might come down to how demoralizing it can be to play in front of fans who boo you.
It’s tough to say if the Knicks would be better off without him because there’s no telling what type of return they’d get for him. As of right now, it seems like the best option would be to hang onto him until the right offer comes along.