Most New York Knicks fans have wanted the team to trade Julius Randle at least once since he arrived in the city in 2019. His career with the Knicks has been full of highs and lows. Randle's a two-time All-NBA/All-Star player since joining New York, but he's had a couple of down seasons and missed postseason opportunities.
The 29-year-old's now in year five with the Knicks, and fans hope he'll break the 'odd season' curse. Randle had a rough start to 2023-24, partly because of his offseason rehab after having ankle surgery. He's since turned a corner. Randle's coming off his best game of the year, recording 25 points and 20 rebounds in Tuesday's 115-91 win over Charlotte.
This season is a pivotal one for the Knicks. The team is coming off its first second-round playoff appearance in a decade, and the hunt for a star is still on. New York has been stockpiling its assets for a big trade, leading to questions from fans about Randle's future with the Knicks.
Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the players New York is reportedly monitoring, although Minnesota's hot start to the season has caused trade rumors to die down. Still, he could hit the trade market, and if that were to happen, the Knicks could bring KAT home.
Julius Randle could complicate potential Karl-Anthony Towns trade
HoopsHype's Michael Scotto reported that Immanuel Quickley "has fans" in the Timberwolves front office, but Julius Randle doesn't.
"Second, while Quickley has fans in Minnesota’s front office, the same cannot be said for Julius Randle, league sources told HoopsHype. Mitchell Robinson also isn’t an ideal trade candidate for Minnesota, with Rudy Gobert entrenched at center. It’s unclear where Minnesota stands on RJ Barrett."- Michael Scotto, HoopsHype
If Minnesota did show an openness to listen to offers for Karl-Anthony Towns this season, New York could make an offer that doesn't include Randle. However, it'd most likely mean giving up RJ Barrett, who's finally on pace to have a breakout season. That doesn't mean the Knicks wouldn't be willing to trade Barrett, but it wouldn't be a smart decision if they decided to do so.
To put it nicely, Randle and KAT wouldn't work well on the same team. It's actually a good thing that Minnesota is against getting Randle in a deal because it'd make it more difficult for New York to get Towns. He isn't the player that the Knicks should roll the dice on.
Maybe the Timberwolves' attitude toward Randle will change, but how they feel about him shouldn't matter. The Knicks don't need to give up key young players (like IQ) and draft capital for a player on a large contract with a concerning injury history.
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