The New York Knicks’ Most Improved Player champion is a long way off a deal that would make them next season’s most improved team, according to an unnamed NBA executive.
Talk with Sean Deveney of Heavy.comthe executive poured water on the fires of a Julius Randle trade, saying the veteran’s downfall after being granted a $117 million contract extension makes him poison for trades.
“They owe him $117 million over the next four years,” the executive said. “Nobody’s looking to take it on. If you give that kind of an extension and you’re looking to trade the guy a year later, you’re not getting anything of value in return.”
Randle, expected to turn 28 in November, earned his windfall after being a big reason the Knicks finished fourth in 2020-21, ending a seven-year playoff drought. However, he regressed in almost every major category last season, leading many to theorize that the Knicks would trade him for some top newcomers. They eventually landed free agent Jalen Brunson on a $104 million deal, but were unable to ship Randle anywhere else.
There’s only one way, the executive explains, to get a Randle deal done. Sadly for the Knicks, that doesn’t do them any good right now, especially if they’re looking to bolster their roster before the season kicks off on Oct. 19.
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“The only chance they have is for him to have a rebound year,” they said. “Then they can look to treat it next summer.”
Randle is expected to retain his spot in the Knicks’ starting five, which is expected to top the four alongside Brunson, Evan Fournier, RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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