Despite landing stark upgrades at the guard position in Evan Fournier and Kemba Walker, the New York Knicks offseason is highlighted by Julius Randle’s recent extension.
The 26-year old signed a four-year/$117-million extension earlier this month to remain in the Big Apple.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first with reports of the deal.
Randle’s coming off of a breakout seventh season, where he averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and six assists per game over 71 games with the Knicks.
Last season, New York made the playoffs for the first time since 2012-2013, and justly rewarded the player that led them there with a multi-year extension.
And in an interview with the media on Friday, Julius Randle sounded committed as ever to the New York Knicks.
Randle: ‘All Hands on Deck’
When he first arrived to the New York Knicks in 2019, Julius Randle had hoped for a long-term future with the team.
He said as much in his press conference (via ESPN) on Friday when the team made his four-year extension official:
When I signed here two years ago, this was my vision, to be able to lock in something long term and build something from the ground up. That’s what we’re doing. All hands on deck.
Randle cited the culture shift that’s occurred under President of Basketball Operations Leon Rose as another motivator for extending with the Knicks:
The money was one thing, but for me, it was more about the situation as far as my happiness, the basketball situation, my family, just being stable and being in New York and really just continuing to build this thing up.
And for those at home wondering, yes, the goal is still to bring home a championship to New York:
I don’t think there’s a better place to win a championship than here. I wanted to be a part of that, and I felt like I could help be a part of that. And I thought with me signing that extension, it could help [Knicks president Leon Rose] and those other guys get pieces and continue to build the team so we could have that opportunity.
It’s hard to discredit comments like these from a guy like Julius Randle, who in his extension with the New York Knicks, literally put his money where his mouth was.
The first-time All-Star left money on the table in signing with the team this summer, as opposed to next.
Randle’s Commitment Has a Dollar Amount
A large part of being a respectable number one option and young team’s leader is what you’re willing to sacrifice.
That can be touches on the ball, shots at the end of games, but in Julius Randle’s case, it’s his salary.
In opting to extend with the New York Knicks for $117-million this summer, the 26-year old passes up the opportunity to sign for a deal next offseason that would have been worth $200-million.
Randle has left little doubt as to whether or not he’s committed to the team’s future and ability to build a contender.
So, they turn to next summer, when all of Bradley Beal, James Harden, and Zach LaVine could hit the free agency market.
And with Randle’s deal already done, the Knicks’ front office will be able to monitor the disgruntled star market and prepare in advance for any 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 to the franchise.