Julius Randle was the one player the Knicks signed this summer with a fully guaranteed contract for next season — he was their keeper. Except, within a couple of months of the season starting there were rumors they may not keep him.
Now the Hornets have reached out the Knicks and talked about a possible Randle trade before Thursday’s deadline, reports Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer.
The Knicks and Hornets have had trade talks involving Julius Randle, per league sources.
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) February 4, 2020
Some names that came up in Hornets and Knicks recent talks included Julius Randle, Dennis Smith Jr., Terry Rozier and Malik Monk, per SNY sources. Ringer first reported that Knicks and Hornets had recently discussed Julius Randle.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) February 4, 2020
For Charlotte, Randle raises the team’s floor because he can get buckets, and the 25th ranked offense in the NBA could use that.
Most of the trade talk around the Knicks have centered on Marcus Morris (who doesn’t want a trade because he expects to get a long-term deal with the Knicks this summer). Randle may not have as much trade value but he has some, averaging 18.9 points per game, and he is the Knicks leading rebounder at 9.5 per night.
How to construct a trade that makes sense for both teams is harder. The numbers work if Charlotte sends out Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Miles Bridges, plus a second-round pick, but does that help the Knicks build for the future. No way the Hornets throw PJ Washington into the mix, and besides that who would New York want?
Teams talk a lot this time of year and little comes of it, this is more likely to be in the majority of talks that do not lead to a deal. But the sides are talking.