Julius Randle: ‘I want to retire as a New York Knick’

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The Knicks want to keep Julius Randle.

Julius Randle wants to stay with the Knicks.

New York’s breakout star has said that before but confirmed that on The Victory podcast this week (hat tip Coby Green at SNY.tv).

“I love playing in New York. I want to retire as a New York Knick,” Randle said.

The only question now is how much it will cost for the Knicks to keep him.

Randle made a huge leap this year — he is about to win Most Improved Player and may make an All-NBA team after averaging 24 points while shooting nearly 42% from 3, plus pulling down and 10.2 rebounds a game. The more consistent outside shot opened up his offensive game, he was always strong and could get to the rim, but now teams can’t play off him. Plus, his playmaking improved dramatically.

Those are the kind of numbers that get a player a max contract. Randle is under contract next season for $19.8 million, well under market value (and, amazingly, only $4 million of that money is guaranteed, not that the Knicks are going to let him walk.

The Knicks want to talk contract extension with Randle this offseason. According to the numbers from NBC’s Dan Feldman, the most the Knicks can offer is four years, $119 million, plus they would fully guarantee his salary for next season. It would work out to a little less than $140 million over five years. If Randle plays out next season on his current contract, becomes a free agent in the summer of 2022, then re-sign with the Knicks he can earn a max estimated to be five years, $201 million. That’s more money and more years, but does Randle want to take the risk of waiting that year, or does he take the extension just to lock in money now?

That’s for Randle to decide. What he seems to have already decided is he wants to stay in New York.