Knicks’ High-Priced Veteran Forward ‘Needs to Go’ Urges Analyst

Julius Randle Evan Fournier Knicks

Getty Julius Randle, Evan Fournier and RJ Barrett of the New York Knicks look on during a game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Unfortunately for the New York Knicks, the lottery didn’t go their way and despite the disappointing year, they are picking 11th in the upcoming NBA Draft.

While they will miss out on one of the big names like Chet Holmgren and Paulo Banchero, the Knicks should still be able to find a productive player at 11.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor believes getting a big man will be the team’s most realistic option, and he has an interesting explanation for that.

“Mitchell Robinson is a free agent,” he wrote. “Julius Randle needs to go. Nerlens Noel can’t stay healthy. Adding another big seems like a realistic choice for the Knicks.”

O’Connor believes the Knicks need to move on from Randle, and while that’s a stance shared with many fans, it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Time to Move On?

Julius Randle, New York Knicks

GettyJulius Randle, New York Knicks

Getting rid of Randle, who is entering a four-year, $117 million contract next season, will be a tough task if the Knicks want to do it.

It’s clear that if he continues on his current downward trend that he started last year, moving him would be in the team’s best interest.

However, if he could recapture his All-NBA form when he helped lead the team into the playoffs, the contract could prove to be good value. There’s no telling what Randle will be coming through the door when the new season begins.

It’s a tough decision for the Knicks, and it’s looking unlikely they’ll be moving him in the offseason. This means the team will need to find a way to get the most production out of him, and that seems strange to say about a player who averaged 20/10/5 the past season.

Getting better fits around him will help, and New York will also be counting on the continued development of players like Obi Toppin, RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.

Knicks Grab Jalen Duren in Mock Draft

julius randle

GettyJulius Randle could be out in New York.

O’Connor’s comments about Randle come in a mock draft writeup where he has the team selecting Jalen Duren. If the Knicks do see Robinson depart and Randle traded away, New York would need to find a way to replace the pair.

Duren wouldn’t step in and replicate Randle’s production overnight, but he could be a perfect fit at center.

“Duren can pressure the rim with his elite athleticism, which could be beneficial for guys like RJ Barrett and Obi Toppin,” wrote O’Connor. “Duren is also one of the draft’s youngest players, so he would also provide long-term upside to a young team still finding its identity.”

The Knicks have a team filled with young players, so if they could all get on the same timeline and develop together, this could be the making of a dangerous team.

Coach Tom Thibodeau is known for preaching defense, so grabbing a natural shot-blocker seems like it’d be a good idea. The team would be hurting for offense if Randle was shipped out, so the Knicks would have to make sure they get some in return for him.

There’s no telling how the Knicks will fill out their roster this offseason, but it’s certainly going to be an important summer for the team.

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