Knicks News, 6/23: Big decisions coming up for Julius Randle, Mitchell Robinson

new york knicks, julius randle
May 9, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) dribbles to ball as LA Clippers guard Reggie Jackson (1) defends during the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are headed into a summer full of questions and exciting decisions. Of course, having $50+ million to spend in free agency represents major positives, as long as the front office manages to select the right players and not trade away any significant assets.

The team must decide on a few free agents of their own, including Reggie Bullock, Nerlens Noel, Alec Burks, and Taj Gibson. Letting all four walk would open up plenty of money to attack the off-season with a star in mind, but there is the possibility they look to retain some of those players. They would also have to renounce Derrick Rose, which would be an unfortunate loss considering his performance this past season.

In the final year of a two-year contract he signed with the Detroit Pistons, Rose averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 assists, and shot .487 from the field at 32 years old in New York. He also hit a career-high 41% of his three-point attempts. The Knicks would undoubtedly love to retain the point guard, but he could command lofty money after a stellar campaign — he’s earned it!

The Knicks have a few big-time decisions regarding some of the best players:

According to Bobby Marks of ESPN, the Knicks have about a month to make a decision on Julius Randle, which should be an easy one:

Randle’s $19.8 million contract becomes fully guaranteed if he is not waived by July 31.

Randle is coming off one of the most lucrative seasons in Knicks history, averaging 24.1 points, 6.0 assists, 10.2 rebounds, and shot .456 from the field. He also saw his three-point percentage balloon to .411% on 5.5 attempts per game. He set career highs in nearly every category, showcasing he is capable of being a star in New York, but the Knicks need to pair him with another star, specifically at PG.

[wpdiscuz-feedback id=”lrc6kgx2lc” question=”Should the Knicks max out Randle now?” opened=”0″]President Leon Rose could consider offering Randle a max-extension now, which would likely be at-cost compared to the deal they might have to offer next offseason ($100M+). At 26 years old, getting the deal done now might be more efficient, as the salary cap is capable of handling multiple max-contracts — just look at the Nets. The Knicks don’t stumble upon All-Star caliber players very often, so locking the only one they have on the roster down would be advisable.  [/wpdiscuz-feedback]

In addition, the Knicks also must choose a path for Mitchell Robinson, who’s headed into the final year of his rookie contract:

New York has until Aug. 1 to exercise the $1.8 million team option of Mitchell Robinson.

Robinson spent the majority of the 2020–21 season on injured reserve. The 23-year-old center played in just 31 games, suffering a fractured hand early in the season and a fractured foot immediately after his return. While he was on the floor, though, he averaged 8.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.

The Knicks view Robinson as an integral piece for the future, but his inability to stay healthy has hurt their optimism. It is possible they unload him in a trade scenario, but they can also pick up his team option, which will pay him just $1.8 million next season. In that case, they will likely gauge his production and consider extending him on a long-term deal, but he must remain healthy before they commit to him in that fashion.

What do YOU think? Should the Knicks max out Randle now and pick up Robinson’s team option? Comment below!