VIDEO: Hall-of-Famer makes passionate pitch for New York Knicks to keep Julius Randle, warns against trade for superstar: ‘Ya’ll trippin’

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Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

During a recent conversation with well-known New York Knicks fan Stephen A. Smith, 2020 Basketball Hall-of-Fame inductee, and Minnesota Timberwolves legend Kevin Garnett made an impassioned pitch for why the front office needs to keep the team as is and not trade for a superstar this summer.

Heading into the NBA games today, the Knicks and their loyal fanbase are still licking their wounds after a frustrating defeat at home in Game 7 of their NBA Playoffs series against the Indiana Pacers. While Indiana deserves their flowers, they were certainly helped by the fact that four impact players for New York missed all or most of the series.

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  • Julius Randle stats (2023-24): 24.0 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 31% 3PT

With the crushing loss still fresh, it is no surprise a discourse has started about what the Knicks must do this summer to help them win their first NBA championship since 1973. Most suggest they need another star player to help take them to the next level, and a recent rumor claimed the front office may have that exact idea in mind.

However, during an appearance this week on the “The Stephen A. Smith Show,” NBA legend Kevin Garnett pushed back on Smith’s idea that the team needs to find a better secondary option than All-Star forward Julius Randle and that this current team — when healthy — is good enough to go all the way.

Kevin Garnett says current New York Knicks roster is ‘perfect’

“What is Randle? Man, Julius Randle is a 25 [point] and 10 [rebound] guy in this league. You trippin’,” Garnett said. “And he grew his game with the three ball. Ya’ll trippin’ on Julius Randle. Julius Randle is one of the harder guards in this league. He’s left-handed, he’s got a three-ball, he can playmaker. He ain’t perfect but with this team?

“You know what happens when you bring in a superstar? That superstar, you have to intertwine him with the fabric of what the Knicks are,” he added. “The Knicks are gritty and gruddy. They play for 48 [minutes]. If you can’t fit that … the Knicks are perfect. They should not be touched. Let’s run this two years with this team and then talk about that superstar s*** later.”

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  • Julius Randle contract: Four years, $117 million (Player option in 2025-26)

While some Knicks fans who have long hoped they trade Randle may not be happy with the idea of keeping him around, the idea of a superstar being brought in and not being a good fit for this unique group is a fair point. Garnett has played with many different stars and would know.

Furthermore, Randle’s contract for an All-Star level play isn’t that bad and does give them the flexibility to re-sign OG Anunoby or Isaiah Hartenstein this summer. New York finished with the second-best record in the East despite losing Randle for the final month of the season.

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