The New York Knicks are reportedly open to moving Julius Randle.
As trade season opens, and as the New York Knicks sit near the bottom of the NBA standings, it creates speculation, on if the team will be sellers ahead of the February trade deadline. Marcus Morris is already a potential name to move, but there could be others on the block.
For a fledging team like the Knicks, any willingness to make moves won’t come as a surprise. This roster isn’t built for a 40 or 50-win season, and changes are inevitable to make this a more competitive team down the line. That could include Randle, who still has another year of guaranteed control on his contract.
This isn’t Major League Baseball when years of control can be a positive value. Instead, this extra year at $18 million is a detriment to a team that wants to preserve cap space for 2020-21. Of course that negates itself if the player produces enough on the court, and Randle has averaged 17.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game.
However, 44.5 percent shooting from the field and 26.5 percent on a career-high 3.8 3-point attempts per game leave much to be desired. He still makes over 50 percent of his 2-pointers, so there has been some efficiency, but the knack for stepping behind the arc isn’t doing his stat line any favors.
So, the Knicks would not be “cashing in” now. Waiting to assess his value by the trade deadline is the logical step, to see if anyone has enough interest in the veteran power forward.
Otherwise, it’s best to wait until the offseason, when teams will more frequently eye roster changes. 2020 free agency is noticeably lacking any star power which could enhance the trade market, helping the Knicks find a partner, although a different front office may be in place.
It’s difficult to pinpoint Randle’s value now. The Knicks may not receive any cap flexibility for him unless another team has enough interest, or not getting back full flexibility on his $18 million salary. They can gauge the possibilities ahead of the trade deadline, but the inconsistent play through the first quarter of the season may limit whatever the return package would be.
Perhaps there’s a surprise ahead for the New York Knicks, but moving other players on shorter deals seems more likely.