5. Julius Randle
According to The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears, the New York Knicks and Julius Randle have mutual interest. This is after Randle declined his player option to return to the New Orleans Pelicans for 2019-20.
Unlike Portis, the Kentucky product is not known for stretching the floor. His most recent season was a career improvement, averaging 2.7 three-pointers per game for 34.4 percent, but the consistency does not yet exist.
Otherwise, Randle displayed his offensive skills for the Pelicans after Anthony Davis controversially announced his trade request. That happened with a career-high 21.4 points; he added 8.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 52.4 percent shooting.
If the Knicks sign Randle and receive anything close to these numbers, it is a boon, especially if he continues to stretch the floor. Defense is a concern, though, and playing next to Smith Jr., Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett in the starting lineup may create one of the NBA’s worst units at this end of the court.
However, the offensive upside makes this a fun team that can put up points. For a Knicks group that may sit far from the postseason picture if they miss on the big free agents, this is the compensatory prize, if only minor.