Why Knicks will likely take calls on Julius Randle ahead of NBA trade deadline

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Scott Thompson
·2 min read
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Julius Randle in white jersey in front of MSG background TREATED ART
Julius Randle in white jersey in front of MSG background TREATED ART

All-Star Game voting has ended in the NBA, and Knicks standout Julius Randle isn’t among the starters or reserves despite his elite production this season. But coaches can still vote leading up to the All-Star break, and he’ll have a chance there.

But following the All-Star break is the NBA trade deadline on March 25, and SNY’s Ian Begley believes that the Knicks will have to take calls on Randle even if they do view him as a key cog moving forward. It’s due diligence.

“Based on a conversation I’ve had with somebody earlier this month, there are prominent members of the Knicks organization that feel Randle is part of this young core that they’re trying to move forward with,” Begley said on the latest episode of The Putback with Ian Begley. However, you have to take calls if you’re the Knicks ahead of the trade deadline on potential Julius Randle trades just because you have to see what his value is. I’m not saying the Knicks would be motivated to make a deal based on that conversation.

“So I would expect the Knicks to have those conversations. Whether anything comes to fruition remains to be seen.”

At this rate, it looks like the Knicks would take on Randle’s $19.8 million team option for the 2021-22 season, especially when you consider what Begley said about higher-ups in the organization believing what they do. He’s proven that with consistent scoring, rebounding and assisting throughout this season – one that has been a gigantic leap from last year.

Because of that, though, big-time playoff contenders would certainly be interested in adding Randle. But Leon Rose and Scott Perry are no fools, and Randle’s price tag would certainly be high if a deal were to be done.

At the end of the day, the Knicks are also looking to make the playoffs, currently sitting as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Randle has been a main reason why they’ve been on this three-game win streak and collected 14 wins already on the year. They could get to an even .500 against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night, too.

Randle has proven his worth, which in turn, garners teams to likely give the Knicks some calls leading up to the trade deadline. We’ll see what Rose & Co. decide to do when that time comes.

In the meantime, Randle will keep balling out, hoping to reach his first All-Star Game. He is averaging 23.1 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists and is shooting 47.6 from the field, including an efficient 40.6 from beyond the arc.