If you would’ve told New York Knicks fans a year ago that the team would have an actual shot at winning the 2024 NBA Championship, at least part of the fanbase would’ve laughed in your face. It’s safe to say that not even Knicks fans predicted just how good Jalen Brunson would be for the team in his first season. Although he wasn’t named an All-Star, he was more than worthy of the honor.
Moving forward, the front office should prioritize building around Brunson. His excellence in the regular season and playoffs made that evident. New York is in a far better position than many believed the team would be in, meaning that in the coming years, the Knicks could be viewed as contenders.
There are some moves that need to happen before then, though, starting with an obvious trade.
3 moves Knicks need to make to have shot at winning 2024 NBA Championship
3: Trade Julius Randle
Julius Randle’s time in New York has had its fair share of ups and downs. His first season was rocky, his second one was good, his third season was disappointing, and his fourth season that just wrapped up was great.
The playoffs have told a different story, though, with Randle averaging 17.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 3.7 assists in 15 postseason games. Here’s the kicker — he’s shot 34.4% from the field in the playoffs and 28.3% from three. Those aren’t numbers that a star is supposed to put up in the postseason.
The four-year, $117 million extension that he signed after his first All-Star season in 2020-21 kicked in at the start of 2022-23, meaning that he still has three years left on his contract with 2025-26 being a player option. Randle can provide value to another team, but it seems as if he’s run his course in New York.
The Knicks could decide to keep the forward during the offseason, but especially if the organization is able to bring a star in, Julius Randle needs to be on the move.