Julius Randle may be under contract with the New York Knicks until the 2021-22 NBA season but that doesn’t prevent his name from being mentioned in various trade rumors. With the Knicks expected to suffer another disappointing season, rumors have been circulating that Randle could be moved before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline. One of the NBA teams who may consider trading for Randle is the Phoenix Suns.
In his recent article, Sharif Norman of Fansided’s Empire Writes Back mentioned the Suns as a potential trade destination for Randle. In the proposed trade deal, the Suns would be sending a trade package including Dario Saric, Tyler Johnson, and a top-5 protected 2020 first-round pick to the Knicks in exchange for Randle and Reggie Bullock. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the trade becomes a reality, Norman believes that it would help both the Knicks and the Suns in filling up the needs to improve on their roster.
“In this scenario, the Knicks would get two expiring contracts if they acquired, Tyler Johnson and Dario Šarić. Along with a potential pick in the up and coming 2020 draft. For the Phoenix Suns, they’ll get Julius Randle in return, along with Reggie Bullock, who is a good perimeter shooter. The Sun’s addition of Julius Randle gives them someone down on the low post to go aside with their frontcourt presence of Deandre Ayton. While for the Knicks, this move would probably be made for future cap space and a potential future first-round pick.”
The Suns may be struggling to consistently win games in the 2019-20 NBA season but unlike the Knicks, they are currently determined to end their playoff drought this year. Trading for Randle wouldn’t turn the Suns into an instant title contender, but his potential arrival in Phoenix would undeniably give them a better chance of earning a playoff spot in the deep Western Conference.
Randle would boost the Suns’ performance, especially on the offensive end of the floor, giving them a big man who could space the floor and make plays for his teammates. Though his number has gone down compared to the previous season, Randle still managed to post impressive numbers in the 2019-20 NBA season. In 35 games he played, the 25-year-old power forward is averaging 18.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 3.3 assist while shooting 45.4 percent from the field and 28.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Meanwhile, the potential deal would allow the Knicks to open up more salary-cap space while acquiring a future first-round pick that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. Instead of letting them walk away in the 2020 NBA free agency without getting anything in return, Norman suggested that the Knicks could use the expiring contracts of Saric and Johnson to get more future draft assets before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.