New York Knicks: 3 Players who will benefit the most from Kemba Walker

Kemba Walker, New York Knicks (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Kemba Walker, New York Knicks (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images) /
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New York Knicks
New York Knicks, Julius Randle (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

New York Knicks: Player #1 — Julius Randle

Can Julius Randle improve upon his All-NBA, NBA All-Star season?

With the arrival of Kemba Walker and Evan Fournier, there are going to be more mouths to feed in this offense. There is going to be a higher level of perimeter ball-handling, scoring, and playmaking. It will be a drastic difference from last season.

Randle was dominant last season. There are very forwards in the NBA with his blend of size, strength, speed, and shooting touch.

I fully expect New York to continue to run their half-court offense through Randle. Julius Randle was 4th in the NBA in isolation possessions last season and first among all frontcourt players. 

Here’s the thing: It’s not as if Julius Randle can’t beat double teams. As a matter of fact, we saw Randle punish double teams all season long. He was constantly able to kick it out to the corners and find an open RJ Barrett and Reggie Bullock in the corner.

The New York Knicks lived off of those corner threes. The problem in their playoff series with the Atlanta Hawks was not just the fact that they would shade Clint Capela towards Randle, they took away those corners, and made him kick it out towards the top of the perimeter.

The Hawks didn’t care if they switched into a “mismatch” on one of the Knicks perimeter players because none of them could take anyone off the dribble. Insert Kemba Walker, and that’s a different story.

The only perimeter player on the Knicks roster who can effectively break down their defender 1-on-1 as well as Kemba Walker is Derrick Rose.

Randle’s per-game stats might take a slight dip, but I could see efficiency and turnover rate go down with Walker. The assists may even spike. A wide-open Kemba Walker for 3 is going to be a lot more effective than a wide-open Elfrid Payton for 3.