The New York Knicks did not hand Julius Randle three years and over $60 million, with the third season partially guaranteed to become the sixth man.
A career year with the Pelicans put Randle on the map. It happened with Anthony Davis‘ fluctuating status, but the young big man crossed 20 points per game for the first time in his career, approached nine rebounds and stretched his game behind the arc, after previous limitations in this area with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, Randle will look to accomplish this over a full year starting, rather than just half the season, after the Davis hoopla started. There is every chance to accomplish this with the Knicks, too, as they look for a player to focus their offense around, and while they have young players capable of this, none of them are as advanced as the team’s newest, highest-paid player.
If Randle continues stretching the floor past 34 percent on three-pointers, it will add another layer to an offense that had few positives. He is already a talented rebounder and offensive piece inside, but the outside game only arrived last season, so if it remains, the potential exists to take off further and even represent the Knicks in the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.
There is no doubt about this one — Randle will start.