Julius Randle’s Contract Can’t Be New York Knicks’ Last Move
The NBA Comeback Player of the Year is, well, coming back!
Julius Randle and the New York Knicks have agreed to a contract extension, keeping him with the Knicks for at least the next five seasons. The extension will kick in after next season, and is worth $117 million in total. Combined with the money he will make next season, Randle will make $140 million in total over his next five seasons with New York, and will have a player option at the end of the contract for 2025-26.
There are still other contracts left to be reported, but as it stands, Randle would be the 36th highest-paid player in the NBA for 2022-23, and would be the highest-paid player on the Knicks by a good margin.
Simply put, this contract has the potential to be a major steal for the team. That said, as good as Randle is, the Knicks can't take a set-it-and-forget-it mentality with this roster. To truly compete for a NBA title, more moves have to be made.
Now, the question remains, what move should be made, and what moves are capable of being made?
We had this conversation on The Drive earlier this week, and it spilled over to Twitter after the show. I was too harsh on the Knicks for not making a move for a major star, simply because there were no major stars that hit the open market. So, that avenue wasn't a viable one.
Then, the question became, is it worthwhile to trade for a star who's looking for a change of scenery? The name that is constantly brought up is Damian Lillard, who the Portland Trail Blazers may look to move for the right price. What that price is, however, is unknown, and may be too rich for the Knicks' blood. You give up RJ Barrett for sure, at least three first round picks, a few pick swaps, maybe a younger player like Immanuel Quickley or Mitchell Robinson. Those parts *might* be enough to get the deal done, but are you definitively better without all of it?
I'm not going to sit here and say I have an iron-clad solution for the New York Knicks. The 2022 free agent class looks intriguing, and my expectation is that the Knicks will go all-in for a star in a year's time. No matter what, however, this roster doesn't look like it has the star-power to win this season.
Information from ESPN contributed to this article.