Hypothetical offseason Knicks star trade idea would never happen for many reasons

The Knicks wouldn't do this.
New York Knicks
New York Knicks / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

With more teams entering the offseason after being eliminated from the playoffs, the New York Knicks have become a potential destination for a few star players. Luckily, New York doesn't need to worry about the offseason, at least for another series.

There's been a lot of talk about Paul George's future. He has a $48.8 million player option for next season, which he could decline to become a free agent. George has said he wants to stay with the Clippers, but he could go elsewhere this summer. The Knicks were reportedly interested in trading for PG13 last summer, but didn't want to give him the max contract he wants.

Another player whose future has been a hot topic is Jimmy Butler. He sprained his MCL in the Play-In Tournament and missed Miami's first-round series against Boston. Butler's current deal runs through 2025-26 (a player option). Miami Herald's Anthony Chiang reported that the 34-year-old hopes to sign a two-year, $113 million extension (subscription required) this summer.

If Butler and the Heat don't agree to an extension, he could be traded. Miami Herald's Barry Jackson explored trade options (subscription required) and listed a Julius Randle-Butler swap as an option. New York would have to include another player (like Bojan Bogdanovic) to make salaries work.

Knicks and Heat would never agree to Julius Randle-Jimmy Butler trade

There's nothing wrong with exploring possibilities. It makes sense to evaluate all options, but there's no way the Knicks and Heat would agree to a Randle-Butler trade. Miami isn't going to trade its best player to one of its most hated rivals. Pat Riley wouldn't sign off on that.

It wouldn't be a good swap, either. Randle's five years younger than Butler. He's had shortcomings in the postseason, but Butler isn't a notorious regular-season performer. Butler's also dealt with different injury issues, while Randle played in 71+ games from 2020-23. This season, he played 46 before he dislocated his shoulder against the Heat.

Depending on what happens in the rest of the postseason, the Knicks should be happy to run it back with Randle. In January, after the OG Anunoby trade, New York looked like the best team in basketball.

On the other hand, it wouldn't be surprising if the Knicks did trade Randle this summer, but not for Butler. The All-Star forward has a $32.4 million player option for 2025-26 that he's expected to decline, meaning he could be an unrestricted free agent next summer. If the right deal arises, maybe New York will jump on it. Randle could also sign an extension this offseason, but he could make more money next summer.

Some of that will be sorted out in a couple of months. One thing's for sure, though. If you're hoping for a Randle-Butler trade, you will be disappointed.