NY Knicks: Revisiting Julius Randle’s Rank in the NBA

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
Julius Randle, NY Knicks. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

NY Knicks: Ranking Julius Randle

It is important to once again mention that despite Randle’s unquestioned talent and ability, there are still quite a few players he definitely slots behind. Even with one All-NBA season under his belt, there are still many players who have done the same multiple times and are among the NBA’s elite.

My “elite” players are as follows: LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard, James Harden, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic, Anthony Davis, Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard, Kyrie Irving, and Jimmy Butler. In no particular order, those are my top 13 players, which has gone unchanged since I made this same list in March. Randle is not quite on the same level as these players, who are all more talented and or accomplished than Randle.

Once again, as with the last article, I will group Randle in the tier below the elite. Randle I would say is arguably anywhere from 14th-20th. After giving it much consideration based on the outcome of the 20-21 season, the players that I believe have the edge over Randle are Jayson Tatum, Paul George, Chris Paul, Trae Young, and Devin Booker. In the case of Tatum, he continued to be one of the top two-way players in the league and was still a great player despite the Celtics’ shortcomings. Each of the other four players also maintained all-star play while additionally adding incredible playoff success to their portfolios, an area where Randle struggled mightily.

That means that Julius Randle, in my opinion, is the NBA’s…

*drum roll*

Nineteenth best player!

Yeah, I know. I disappointed myself with this one, too.

Ironically, being as unbiased as possible, I can’t rank Randle any higher than 19th once again. This is not to say that I am only ranking him this high because he is a Knick, by the way. I truly believe he has an edge over players like Bradley Beal and Donovan Mitchell. Beal and Mitchell were players who I previously ranked above Randle.

Each of them, for me, has been overtaken by Young and Booker. The former two guards were more accomplished than Randle at the time. The latter two guards are now just as accomplished as Randle, Beal, and Mitchell, and I think the talent of Young and Booker exceeds that of the other three. Randle is a more complete player than Mitchell or Beal, so this time around I’m ranking Randle higher.

From a talent standpoint, the only other player I can see having a legitimate reason for being ranked higher than Randle and these other similarly touted players is Towns. KAT is not as accomplished, but is one of the most incredibly skilled players in basketball. However, due to a lack of winning and his durability being a major issue, I rank Randle ahead of him, too. Randle posted remarkable numbers and efficiency last year.

And so, Randle is still just a top 20 player IMO even after building on the success he had midway through the season. This speaks more towards the immense talent at the top of the NBA than it does to how good Randle is per se. His ability is something that could have ranked him higher among players in a different era. Even had Randle been playing at this level 5 years ago, he would probably be considered in higher regard. The star power and depth of the modern NBA is disgusting (in a very good way).

Here is to Randle going forward with more seasons like this. I’m sure he will find himself in a higher ranking very soon. And when the time comes again to reevaluate Randle’s NBA standing, I promise to not rank him 19th again.

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