“Number one priority this offseason for the Knicks will be trading Julius Randle. They are going to look to trade Julius. And the first trade rumor that I’m hearing is Julius Randle to the Utah Jazz for Mike Conley and draft considerations.”
Randle, 25, is one season through a three-year, $62 million contract with the Knicks. Randle averaged 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field this season.
The 2019-20 NBA season was Mike Conley’s first run with the Jazz. He averaged 14.4 points, 4.4 assists and 0.8 steals per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. Conley is entering the final season of a five-year, $153 million deal.
The Knicks could have upwards of $40 million in cap space this offseason depending on what they do with the handful of team options they hold on veteran players (Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock). A Randle-for-Conley trade would add roughly $13 million in payroll for the Knicks next season.
Conley, 32, would presumably become new Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau‘s starting point guard. They could subsequently select a wing/forward such as Florida State’s Devin Vassell or Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, who each reportedly interest the Knicks, with the eighth pick in this year’s NBA Draft. New York also owns the 27th and 38th selections in the upcoming draft.
From Utah’s perspective, Randle could start in-between a healthy Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert or serve as the team’s sixth man. They could then pursue a lead guard in the offseason to start next to Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz lost to the Denver Nuggets in seven games in the first round of the NBA playoffs this season.