After a strange season for Julius Randle, the New York Knicks may be looking to trade him away. However, the front office will have a difficult decision to make on whether it would be worth it to let go of the 25-year-old power forward.
Why the Knicks Should Trade Julius Randle
After a breakout season in 2018 with the New Orleans Pelicans, signing Julius Randle seemed like a smart move. After losing out on fellow power forwards Kevin Durant in free agency and Zion Williamson in the draft, Randle seemed like a safe option. Randle was the man expected to lead the Knicks, and help younger players including R.J. Barrett and Mitchell Robinson. However, things did not go to plan.
Despite averaging 0.3 rebounds less than a double-double, there were major issues he created. Julius Randle proved himself to be a very selfish player early on, by often taking the ball up, despite his poor ball-handling skills. With his poor ball-handling skills, he often turned the ball over in the paint while driving in.
Additionally, Randle had a terrible shot selection and collapsed under pressure. Lastly, with a $20 million contract, the 25-year-old holds a significant amount of cap space. If Randle is traded, getting rid of his large contract would be a bonus.
Why The Knicks Shouldn’t Trade Julius Randle
Julius Randle was brought to New York for a reason. In his last season in New Orleans, he averaged 21 points and 8 rebounds despite being debatably the third-best player there, alongside Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday.
Under sub-par coaches David Fizdale and Mike Miller, Randle hasn’t been able to receive the proper coaching he needs to return to his previous form with the Pelicans. However, with new coaches in the likes of Tom Thibodeau, Mike Woodson, and former Kentucky assistant coach Kenny Payne, Randle could get back in form.
Tom Thibodeau has already praised Randle saying he is a “pro’s pro”. Thibodeau also said, “Having that type of leadership is important to our team”.
Furthermore, at only 25, Randle is on the younger side, which means he has more time to develop than some of the players New York has been targeting.
What Potential Trades Could Randle Be Involved In?
Since the NBA hiatus began, no teams have expressed serious interest in Randle. However, some may be interested in a deal with the Knicks, with the power-forward as an add-on.
However, a deal that is looking more likely is between the Indiana Pacers and the New York Knicks. Here, Julius Randle, point guard Dennis Smith Jr., and the 8th overall pick would head to Indiana. On the other side, shooting guard Victor Oladipo, along with Jeremy Lamb head the other way. Oladipo is rumored to be the Knicks’ main target over the off-season. On the other side, a deal involving Julius Randle and Dennis Smith Jr. could offer them each a fresh start.
The Knicks could be taking a big risk by holding onto Julius Randle. However, it could prove to be completely worth it long term. The decision has not yet been made in the front office, but all are anxious to see what happens.