After being officially eliminated from playoff contention in the 2021-22 NBA season, the New York Knicks are set to undergo a huge roster overhaul this summer. Aside from targeting big names who would complement RJ Barrett on the court, the Knicks are also expected to get rid of players who no longer fit their long-term plans. One of the potential trade candidates in New York is veteran power forward Julius Randle.
It may have only been less than a year since the Knicks rewarded Randle with a massive contract extension but with his underwhelming performance this season, rumors are circulating that they will explore trading him in the 2022 NBA offseason.
Julius Randle, Knicks Eyeing Divorce
As of now, it seems like Randle and the Knicks have a mutual interest in parting ways this summer. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, some people around the league feel that Randle is acting in a "James Harden type of way," suggesting that he wants to be on a new team next season. However, even if they intend to move him, the Knicks aren't expected to trade Randle just for the sake of getting him out of Big Apple. As Berman, the Knicks would shop Randle for a starting-caliber center if they fail to re-sign Mitchell Robinson in the 2022 NBA free agency.
Proposed Knicks-Pacers Deal
One of the ideal trade partners for the Knicks in the deal involving Randle is the Indiana Pacers. In a recent article, Brett Siegel of NBA Analysis Network came up with a hypothetical blockbuster trade idea that would enable the Knicks to swap Randle for Pacers center Myles Turner this summer. In the proposed trade scenario, the Knicks would be sending a trade package that includes Randle, Kemba Walker, a 2023 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-round pick to the Pacers in exchange for Turner, Buddy Hield, and a 2024 first-round pick.
Knicks Get Two Quality Starters
The proposed trade deal would be a no-brainer for the Knicks as it would enable them to swap Randle and Walker for two new starters. Turner would give the Knicks a defensive-minded center who is capable of knocking down shots from beyond the arc, while Hield would provide them with the much-needed improvement in terms of floor spacing. Sharing the court with legitimate perimeter threats like Turner and Hield would make it easier for Barrett to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he's trapped by the opposing team's defense.
Does The Trade Make Sense For The Pacers?
While the suggested deal is a no-brainer for the Knicks, it remains unknown if the Pacers would be interested in such a trade. With the team currently in the initial phase of the rebuilding process, the Pacers are currently not in need of someone like Randle. Adding him to their roster could do more harm than good for the team since he's a ball-dominant player.
If the Knicks are serious about making the trade, they should find a third team that will take Randle and should consider adding young players and more future draft assets in their offer.