NBA Rumors: Knicks 'Not Totally Sold' On Julius Randle Long-Term

JB Baruelo

When they signed him in the 2019 NBA free agency, Julius Randle was viewed as one of the players who would lead the New York Knicks back to title contention. After being named an All-Star and All-NBA Second Team in the 2020-21 NBA season, the Knicks rewarded Randle with a four-year, $117 million extension last summer.

Unfortunately, Randle has struggled to remain consistent in his third year in New York, making some people wonder if the Knicks made the right decision to give him a huge payday in the 2021 NBA offseason.

Julius Randle Facing An Uncertain Future With Knicks

This season, Randle has shown a decline in his statistics. In 39 games, he's averaging 19.0 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 4.8 assists while shooting 41.6 percent from the field and 31.2 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. The Knicks are yet to make Randle available on the trading block but with their rumored interested in Detroit Pistons small forward Jerami Grant and Indiana Pacers center Myles Turner, Marc Berman of the New York Post said that it's a sign that they are not "totally sold" on Randle for the long-term.

"The rebuilding Pistons are open to trading Grant and the Knicks reportedly have shown some interest," Berman wrote. "With their persistent monitoring of the Myles Turner situation in Indiana, it’s a demonstration the Knicks may not be totally sold on Randle for the long term."

Jerami Grant & Myles Turner As Potential Replacement For Julius Randle?

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Both Grant and Turner are currently available on the trade market. With the Pistons and the Pacers in the initial phase of the rebuilding process, rumors are circulating that they will try to move both veteran big men before the 2022 NBA trade deadline. If the Knicks succeed to acquire Grant or Turner, there's a strong chance that their next move is to find Randle a new home.

Though they also play other positions, Grant and Turner are capable of filling the hole that Randle would be leaving in the Knicks' frontcourt.

Can Knicks Use Julius Randle As Main Trade Chip?

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Despite his struggle earlier in the 2021-22 NBA season, Randle would still be a valuable trade chip for the Knicks. However, it remains a big question mark if the Pacers and the Pistons would have any interest in swapping Turner or Grant for him. With both teams just starting a rebuild, they are expected to seek young players and future draft assets in the potential deal involving Turner and Grant.

If the Knicks badly want to get rid of Randle, they may need to find a third team that will help them facilitate a trade with the Pacers or the Pistons.

Souring Relationship Between Julius Randle & Knicks' Fans

The rumors about Knicks' interest in Grant and Turner surfaced amid the growing tension between Randle and the Knicks' fans. Randle recently became the center of controversy after telling Knicks' fans to "shut the f–k up." Though the veteran power forward has already apologized for his behavior, it seems like the Knicks' fans still haven't forgiven him.

In their 111-96 blowout victory over the San Antonio Spurs, Randle was booed out of the game after finishing two points and three turnovers.