After an impressive performance last year, the New York Knicks are once again expected to suffer a huge disappointment in the 2021-22 NBA season. Despite the improvements they made during the 2021 NBA offseason, the Knicks are struggling to win games and have failed to live up to expectations from a legitimate playoff contender in the league. As of now, they are on a seven-game losing streak, sitting in the No. 12 spot in the Eastern Conference with a 25-38 record.
Trading Julius Randle
If the Knicks decide to overhaul their roster around RJ Barrett, one of the players who are in danger of being traded next summer is veteran power forward Julius Randle. Since the first half of the 2021-22 NBA season, rumors have been swirling around Randle and his future with the Knicks. With his underwhelming performance this season, Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network revealed that questions about Randle's long-term future in New York have begun to form.
The Knicks may have failed to move Randle before the 2022 NBA trade deadline, but they are expected to explore trading him once again in the 2022 NBA offseason.
Julius Randle To Sacramento Kings
In a recent article, Siegel named three NBA teams that are expected to express a strong interest in acquiring Randle from the Knicks next summer. These include the Sacramento Kings. In the proposed trade scenario, the Kings would be offering a trade package that includes Harrison Barnes, Richaun Holmes, Justin Holiday, and a future first-round pick to the Knicks in exchange for Randle and Kemba Walker. If the trade becomes a reality, Siegel believes it would help both teams in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
Julius Randle Forms Kings' 'Big Three' With De'Aaron Fox & Domantas Sabonis
The Kings would make the trade with the goal of forming a "Big Three" of Randle, De'Aaron Fox, and Domantas Sabonis in Sacramento. Though it won't make them an instant title contender in the Western Conference, Siegel believes that the trio of Randle, Fox, and Sabonis would increase the Kings' chances of ending their playoff drought in the 2022-23 NBA season. Randle would still need to make certain adjustments with his game to make himself fit with Sabonis but once they build the perfect chemistry, they could form a formidable frontcourt duo in the league.
Why The Knicks Would Make The Trade
The proposed trade deal isn't only expected to be beneficial for the Kings, but also for the Kings. Aside from creating salary cap flexibility in 2023, the Knicks would also be acquiring three solid role players in Barnes, Holiday, and Holmes who would help Barrett carry the team next season.
"For the Knicks, they would free up some cap space in 2023 by making this trade, as well as address key scoring needs around the court," Siegel wrote. "Harrison Barnes could be a primary scoring weapon alongside RJ Barrett, Justin Holiday provides shooting on the wing and Richaun Holmes is a big man under contract through the 2024-25 season that would be a perfect fit given his two-way play in the paint."