It’s Time For the New York Knicks to Trade Julius Randle

Ryan Garcia
New York Knicks, Julius Randle
Dec 17, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts against the Atlanta Hawks during the second half at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks currently would look at their situation and wonder why they aren’t seeing any growth as a team despite some solid additions. By standard metrics, Julius Randle has been the Knicks’ best player, averaging 19 points and nearly 10 rebounds a night. So why would the Knicks want to trade him? He’s young, has good counting stats, and scores a lot. Well, his issues lie in how he is dysfunctional as a team player and isn’t what the Knicks need right now. He is a left-handed shooter at 6-8 playing Forward who can’t shoot. Sound like a certain rookie the Knicks just drafted? Julius Randle isn’t part of the Knicks future, and he’s hindering the development of RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.

Doesn’t Provide Spacing

Julius Randle is a sub-par 3 point shooter, which isn’t what the Knicks need. Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett are the Center and Forward of the future and neither is necessarily sharpshooters from 3. The Knicks need players who will create spacing, and while a player like Joe Harris isn’t the stat pad machine that Randle is, if they were to sign Harris next offseason they’d arguably have a much better team. The Knicks are one of basketball’s worst 3-point teams, which is something you don’t want to be in this era.

If the Knicks can get a better shooter at forward with the money they’d have opened up from Randle’s deal like Danilo Gallinari or at guard they can sign an Evan Fournier who are both 40%+ 3-point shooters in 2020. They could see their spacing grow a lot as these two provide a perimeter threat for teams to worry about.

Lackluster Defense

Julius Randle rarely gets a block, rarely gets a steal, and has a dRTG of 112, which is abysmal. He is a poor defender, and not what the Knicks need at all. If you’re going to sacrifice shooting for a big man or slashing forward, they should at least be competent defensively, such as Mitchell Robinson, who is a much better option at Center or Forward compared to Randle. In 21.8 career minutes per game, Robinson averages 2.2 blocks and 0.8 steals, both being better than Randle’s, despite Randle playing 32.5 minutes per game. Robinson’s 107 dRTG is solid, and is better than Randle’s as dRTG is like ERA in the sense that the lower it is, the better.

Yes, rebounding is cool, but it’s something that shouldn’t be built around, defense and scoring matter much more than rebounding, and if you want a big man to shut down the paint, and be effective offensively without being too ball-dominant, then I’ll take the 7-foot giant Mitchell Robinson any day of the week.

What Could You Get for Julius Randle?

I could easily see a few second-round picks going to the New York Knicks for Randle, which I would gladly take. These picks could be used on shooters or defensive-oriented players to build around RJ Barrett. I could see him going back to the Lakers as they would love a 3rd option as Kyle Kuzma has regressed heavily and trade talks with him are rampant, (though the Knicks getting him would not work either, so avoid Kuzma like the plague). Building a team for the future isn’t just getting scorers, but designating someone to build around and have depth, something that Randle severely hinders.

Julius Randle is by no means a bad basketball player, but he is definitely overrated by his traditional counting stats. The New York Knicks need to just ship him off for quality picks or perhaps a shooter and look to the offseason and draft to get shooters and defensive help for RJ and let Mitchell Robinson who is a freak of nature finally get a starting role.