NY Knicks: Why extending Julius Randle is an easy decision

Julius Randle, New York Knicks. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Julius Randle, New York Knicks. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /
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NY Knicks: Can Julius Randle become a perennial All-Star?

With NBA All-Star already under his belt, Julius Randle will soon add NBA’s Most Improved Player and an All-NBA team selection to his resume. I fully expect Randle to land on the 2nd or 3rd team.

The biggest argument against giving big money to Randle would be the idea that he will regress. That the return of 2019-20 Julius Randle is more likely to come back than the 2020-21 version.

To me, that argument seems to come from people who check box scores and haven’t actually followed Randle’s journey, haven’t examined his improvements, or factored in the environment around him. You’re talking about someone who is just now hitting their prime and has reinvented his game.

Randle has put a ton of work into how he operates out of the post. From finding his favorite spots on the floor to becoming more effective with his cross-court passes, Randle has become one of the most dynamic frontcourt hubs of offense in the league.

The number of ways in which he can positively impact the game has shown up in plenty of all-encompassing metrics. (10th in the league in VORP, 15th in Player Impact Estimate)

Let’s also take into consideration that this is just the first year of Tom Thibodeau’s coaching staff and Leon Rose’s front office. This new environment has helped nurture Randle into a high-level player, and we know that he has played on some pretty atrocious teams in recent years.

One of the major keys to the Knicks’ success on offense this season has been floor-spacing. The floor-spacing isn’t just about the improved quality and quantity of outside shooting, it’s about the unclogged paint and increased playmaking.

Randle thrives when he’s able to maximize his strength. An unclogged paint gives him room to bully people on his way to the rim and it forces defenses to leave other Knicks open as they struggle to contain him. Not only can he easily get to the rim, but he’s also been an automatic shooter. I mentioned the playmaking already, I can keep going…

Is this scheme and strategy going to change? The new NY Knicks coaching staff is going to be sticking around for a while, and the slower-paced half-court offense is staying with them.

It’s not just about the numbers and winning, it’s about sustainability. Julius Randle has had injuries in his past, but there are plenty of indications that his game should age well.

Randle has notably been dedicated to taking care of his body. His supreme conditioning, stocky build, and finesse are all terrific indicators that he will be able to withstand the work that comes with being a star in the NBA.

His play on the court will always be paramount, but let’s talk about something else – How Julius Randle has embraced the city of New York.