Knicks forward Julius Randle likely played his last game this season

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle is likely done this season.

Randle was ruled out of today’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers due to a lingering sore quad. The announcement came one day after the Knicks were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

“He’s out. Most likely, he’s out the rest of the way. He’s had this nagging thing going on for a while,” Thibodeau told reporters before the matinee game against the Cavaliers.

Toppin will replace Randle in the starting lineup, marking his sixth start this season.

If Randle has played his last game, he will finish the season averaging 20.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 5.1 assists with a 41/31/76 shooting split. His numbers are down across the board compared to his All-NBA Second Team campaign last season, in which he averaged 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists with a 46/41/81 shooting split, all career-highs. His turnovers (3.2 per game) remained the same.

Randle’s inconsistent effort and penchant for inviting troubles, whether with the referees or the fan base, is a microcosm of what went wrong with the Knicks this season — a disappointing sequel to their inspiring playoff run last year. He reiterated his desire to remain as a Knick long-term in the wake of the trade request rumor last Wednesday.

Randle signed a four-year extension worth up to $117 million last summer that will kick in next season. The Knicks front office tried to build around him, adding Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier. But he struggled to adjust with his new teammates, shot creators who need the ball in their hands.

Walker has since severed his ties with the Knicks. Randle joins other veterans, Nerlens Noel (left foot) and Derrick Rose (right ankle), on the sidelines.

“The other guys will keep going. Our young guys are nicked up a little bit right now, too. So, we want to make sure they’re healthy when they’re going to be back out there,” Thibodeau added.

Rookies Quentin Grimes and Miles McBride, both with sore right knees, will also sit out Saturday. They also join Knicks’ mid-season acquisition Cam Reddish (right shoulder) at sickbay.

The Knicks have four more games after Saturday matinee against the Cavaliers.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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