Julius Randle took a picture with his wife
Source: Shutterstock | 564025

NBA Rumors: Knicks Could Trade Julius Randle & Kemba Walker For Gordon Hayward

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Apr. 18 2022, Published 7:52 a.m. ET

New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle has been one of the most talked-about players on the rumor mill since the first half of the 2021-22 NBA season. It may have been only a year since the Knicks rewarded Randle with a massive contract extension but after they suffered a huge disappointment this season, some people started to have doubts if he really deserves to be part of the team's long-term future. With the controversies that he was involved in and his underwhelming performance, there's a growing belief around the league that the Knicks could explore trading him in the 2022 NBA offseason.

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Proposed Knicks-Hornets Trade

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Source: Wikimedia | Bagumba

One of the potential landing spots for Randle this summer is the Charlotte Hornets. According to an Eastern Conference executive who spoke to Heavy.com, the Knicks may consider trading Randle and Kemba Walker to the Hornets in exchange for Gordon Hayward.

"You can send Randle and Kemba Walker, get him back home, and take back Hayward and it is a respectable deal for everyone involved. The Knicks get back a star-caliber player, they get rid of Kemba’s contract. The team has had an interest in Hayward before, though that was before Leon (Rose) came on. The Hornets get a presence inside, but you’d have to work to get him to fit with LaMelo,” the Eastern Conference executive said.

Knicks Take A Gamble On Gordon Hayward

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Source: Wikimedia | FMSky

Trading Randle and Walker for Hayward would be a risky move for the Knicks. Hayward may have a shorter contract than Randle, but he's five years older and has dealt with numerous injuries in the past years. However, if he could return to his 100 percent health and regain his All-Star, the 32-year-old small forward would be an incredible addition to the Knicks. Hayward would give the Knicks a very reliable scoring option, great rebounder, defender, and floor spacer.

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Hornets Boost Frontcourt

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Source: Giphy | New York Knicks

Swapping Hayward for Randle would be a no-brainer for the Hornets. Randle may have gone through plenty of ups and downs in the 2021-22 NBA season, but he still managed to post solid numbers. In 72 games he played, the 27-year-old power forward averaged 20.1 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 5.1 assists while shooting 41.1 percent from beyond the arc.

His potential arrival in Charlotte would give them the much-needed boost in their frontcourt and significantly improve their performance on both ends of the floor next season.

Kemba Walker Reunites With The Hornets

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Source: Wikimedia | Steffaville

What makes the proposed trade deal more intriguing for the Hornets is the inclusion of Walker in the Knicks' offer. Walker started his NBA career with the Hornets in 2011 when they selected him using the No. 11 pick. Despite how things ended between them in 2019, Walker would definitely love the idea of reuniting with the Hornets this summer.

In mid-March, an NBA source who spoke to Marc Berman of the New York Post revealed that Walker would consider the Hornets as a "future destination" should he and the Knicks decide to part ways in the 2022 NBA offseason.

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