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Top NBA reporter shares interesting report on Julius Randle’s future

Julius Randle smiles during a game

Nov 8, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first half at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Mitchell Leff-USA TODAY Sports

Julius Randle was unable to participate in the New York Knicks’ playoff run this year, and he might not be participating in much more for them going forward either.

The Athletic’s Shams Charania spoke Monday on FanDuel’s “Run It Back” and shared some interesting info about the Knicks All-Star Randle. Charania said that opposing teams are monitoring Randle’s situation as he moves into an uncertain contract situation with the Knicks.

Randle, 29, is under contract for $30.3 million next season but essentially becomes an expiring deal as he holds a player option for 2025-26. He is also eligible this offseason for a new four-year, $181.5 million extension from the Knicks, Charania adds.

To his credit, Randle had another strong regular season this year, averaging 24.0 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game in 46 appearances. But he suffered a dislocated shoulder during a game in late January (video here) and was unable to return for the rest of the season. The Knicks proceeded to secure the No. 2 seed in the East without Randle and made it one win away from the conference finals before succumbing to their host of other injuries.

Moving forward, the Knicks face several pressing roster matters, including the need this summer to re-sign big midseason acquisition OG Anunoby and highly-important frontcourt cog Isaiah Hartenstein. Franchise player Jalen Brunson is also eligible for a contract extension this summer as he currently has one more guaranteed year on his contract followed by a player option in 2025-26 (virtually an identical situation to that of Randle).

The Knicks proved in the second half of the season that they could survive and thrive without Randle (turning towards more of a small-ball lineup with Josh Hart seeing extended minutes at the 4). Meanwhile, Brunson’s ascent to full superstardom this season also means that Randle would return to a role as more of a No. 2 option for the Knicks rather than as a No. 1B. Though Randle’s talent is undeniable, the amount of money the Knicks need to shell out to other players (plus the apparent maturity issues that Randle has battled through while in New York) may ultimately lead the team to consider trading Randle this offseason.

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