Knicks’ star power forward still concerned about ankle injury

julius randle, knicks
May 10, 2023; New York, New York, USA; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) is guarded by Miami Heat center Bam Adebayo (13) during game five of the 2023 NBA playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks are gearing up for an exciting journey as they approach the 2023–24 season. While the Boston Celtics have strengthened their roster, making them Eastern Conference favorites with the acquisition of Jrue Holliday, the Knicks are taking a more patient approach in their quest for a superstar player.

Knicks Building on Chemistry and Adding Firepower

The Knicks’ front office is wisely refraining from rushing into any trades. This decision is grounded in the solid chemistry the team cultivated last year, coupled with the addition of sharpshooter Donte DiVincenzo.

Julius Randle’s Ascent and Ankle Injury

The front office is pinning its hopes on star power forward Julius Randle taking a leap forward in terms of his playoff performance. Unfortunately, Randle has been grappling with an ankle injury that has necessitated significant rehabilitation during the offseason.

“This is definitely different,” Randle shared on Monday. “It was a different offseason, for sure, for me from a physical standpoint. And it will be a different training camp, for sure.”

While Randle may not yet be in peak physical condition for the rigors of an NBA season, he has dedicated substantial time to film study and off-court skill enhancement. Last season, Randle achieved career-high averages of 25.1 points, 10 rebounds, and 4.1 assists, shooting at a .459 field goal percentage and .343 from downtown. With an impressive .536 effective field goal rate, Randle secured yet another All-Star Appearance.

Patiently Awaiting Randle’s Return to Form

While it’s possible that Randle may start the season at a slower pace as he regains his physical fitness, the primary focus remains on ensuring he returns to 100% health and is ready to make a significant impact alongside Jalen Brunson.

“I think, for me, physically is going to be the last thing that will come,” he noted. “Just getting my body back used to the wear and tear of the NBA season.”

Randle’s Ten-Year Milestone and the Superstar Quest

Julius Randle is entering his 10th year in the NBA, having spent three successful seasons with the Knicks. Nevertheless, the team is still in search of that elusive final puzzle piece to elevate their performance. While Joel Embiid could potentially fit the bill if he seeks a move from the Philadelphia 76ers, predicting such a move remains uncertain. The Knicks may opt to bide their time until the winter trade deadline, a strategy that ensures the acquired player’s peak health.

“I’m heading into my 10th year, which is crazy,” Randle reflected. “Every year is a different challenge. This is like no other year. It’s a different challenge, but it’s very exciting.”

As the New York Knicks prepare for the upcoming season, their approach is marked by patience, dedication to player development, and the anticipation of making a strategic move to secure the missing piece of their championship puzzle.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: