Is Julius Randle a core part of the Knicks’ future, or a bridge to that future with bigger stars?
Whatever the answer, the Knicks are treating him as part of the core, and he is not available at the trade deadline, reports Ian Begley at SNY.TV. He reports the Knicks are looking at smaller, more conservative moves.
Those teams in touch with New York also didn’t expect the club to trade for a top player ahead of the trade deadline.
“Right now, it seems like they’re more open to something smaller,” one of the teams said…
Julius Randle is also on a short-term contract. But you can be sure that Randle isn’t going to be moved ahead of the deadline. Prominent members of the organization view him and RJ Barrett as essential parts of the club’s young core moving forward.
With the Knicks at 19-19 and sitting as the six seed in the East — out of the play-in games currently, but just three games from falling out of the playoffs completely in a crowded middle of the conference — the focus will be and should be on winning in the short term. The Knicks want to return to the playoffs, which will boost the culture changes already taking place in the organization.
Randle, an All-Star and Most Improved Player candidate averaging 22.8 points and 11 rebounds a game, is critical to racking up those needed wins. He’s not going anywhere at the deadline (barring an unforeseen Godfather offer).
Those smaller moves? Bringing in someone like J.J. Redick to add shooting or some players who bring depth to the front line. Expect things along the lines of the trade to bring in Derrick Rose, but don’t expect anything groundbreaking.