Forward Julius Randle and the New York Knicks have been the talk of the NBA in recent weeks. Seen as one of the worst teams in the Association heading into the 2020-21 campaign, New York currently boasts a stunning 37-29 record and are the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with a handful of regular-season games remaining.
Regardless of what happens in the Big Apple during the playoffs, president Leon Rose and Co. are preparing to be active once NBA free agency starts during the summer. That could potentially include offering Randle a contract extension.
“With a non-guaranteed contract for next year and a new regime in New York, Randle was seen as a likely trade target by league executives just a few months ago,” ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted. “While the Knicks now focus on a vital road trip in which they look to lock up their first playoff berth in eight years, another priority has emerged on the horizon.”
Windhorst went on to report that the New York Knicks and Julius Randle are both interested in a contract extension. The former Los Angeles Lakers’ lottery pick is slated to earn a mere $19.8 million next season , the final year of his current contract.
Randle, 26, has been absolutely awesome for a surprising Knicks squad this season. He’s averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.9 assists on 46% shooting from the field. Needless to say, Randle has to be considered underpaid.
What a Julius Randle extension with the New York Knicks might look like
Despite boasting roughly $60 million in cap room this coming summer, the Knicks are limited in what they can offer Randle. In fact, they can offer him only $106 million in guaranteed cash with another $34 million incentives over four years. That would be well below market value.
Slated to become a free agent following the 2021-22 season, Randle could opt to hold out for a max contract when the summer of 2022 comes calling. However, that might not be the case. He’s made it clear that it’s his goal to play the remainder of his NBA career with the New York Knicks.
Read More: 5 ideal Damian Lillard trade scenarios
“It’s always a thought,” Randle told reporters back in March. “When I came here almost two years ago, that was the plan. I wanted to be here long-term. I want to be a Knick. So my thoughts never changed. I would definitely love to be here long-term. When we get to that part, sit down and talk, whatever. But right now I’m more so focused on the team.”
This certainly does seem to be a match made in heaven for the two sides.