Rumor: Knicks open to trading Julius Randle

Julius Randle
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The Knicks didn’t sign Kevin Durant. They didn’t sign Kyrie Irving. They didn’t sign Kawhi Leonard.

But New York did sign several players last summer.

Only one — Julius Randle — received a fully guaranteed salary beyond this season. Yet, he’s not necessarily a long-term keeper.

Steve Popper of Newsday:

an NBA source said it is believed that the Knicks would be open to moving Randle, though he has the contract locked in for next season.

The Knicks just traded a young star in Kristaps Porzingis! I hope they’re open to trading a middling starter on a lousy team.

My hope is this leaking to the public signals more significant Randle trade discussions. At face value, this report doesn’t mean much. It’d be bigger news if New York weren’t open to trading Randle.

Good luck finding a taker, though.

Most bad teams would rather remain bad and reap the draft rewards than add a floor-raiser like Randle. Few good teams need another big. On the best teams, Randle’s ball-stopping and defensive limitations would become bigger issues. It’s one thing to lead the Knicks in usage. It’s another to post a high usage with star teammates. Deep in the playoffs, opponents would also pick on Randle defensively.

The Knicks showed, at last check, they value Randle more than anyone else. That’s why they got him. Was anyone else guaranteeing him $40.9 million for two seasons (including a partial guarantee on a third season)? Has Randle done anything since free agency to make teams regret getting outbid by New York? I doubt it.