January 15, 2021
NBA Rumors: Celtics Could Acquire Julius Randle For Two Young Players & Future Draft Picks

According to a recently proposed trade idea, Julius Randle of the New York Knicks could finally get to play for a potential title contender if he gets moved to the Boston Celtics in exchange for two of their young players and two future draft selections.

On Friday, NBA Analysis Network's Greg Patuto pointed out that Randle has been one of the few bright spots for a Knicks team that has lost four straight games after getting off to a strong 5-3 start. Currently, the 26-year-old forward is averaging 22.8 points, 10.8 rebounds, and 6.8 assists and shooting 49.8 percent from the field — all representing significant improvements from his performance in the 2019-20 campaign, per Basketball-Reference.

Given Randle's strong play for a perennially struggling organization, Patuto suggested that the Celtics — who are leading the Eastern Conference with a 7-3 record — could acquire the former Kentucky Wildcats standout for a package that includes reserves Romeo Langford and Grant Williams, a 2021 first-round pick, and a 2022 second-rounder previously acquired from the Charlotte Hornets. As noted, this hypothetical move could help Boston substantially upgrade its frontcourt, hopefully en route to a championship run in the 2020-21 season.

Julius Randle of the New York Knicks is defended by Semi Ojeleye of the Boston Celtics.
Getty Images | Emilee Chinn

The Celtics have two frontcourt starters — Tristan Thompson and Daniel Theis — who are averaging less than 10 points per game and may be better suited for off-the-bench roles. While both these players are capable defenders who don't put up big scoring numbers, Randle could capably fill in the blanks on the offensive end, the NBA Analysis Network writer added.

"Randle would benefit greatly from being sent to help a contending team fight for a championship. He would bring a different dynamic to the Celtics' on both ends of the floor. This would be a big-time move for a team that is used to making impact transactions."
Talking about how the Knicks could benefit from the suggested trade, Patuto wrote that New York needs to find the right players to complement rising stars R.J. Barrett and Mitchell Robinson and 2020 draftees Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley. Langford, in particular, was singled out as an "intriguing" prospect who could help the Knicks push forward with their rebuilding efforts. He is, however, a few months away from returning from right wrist surgery, according to the Celtics' Basketball-Reference page.

As of this writing, Williams is playing a key role off the bench for Boston and is averaging 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game. It was not specified how the second-year forward could contribute if traded to the Knicks, but the future picks could add to the ones previously acquired in the deals that sent Marcus Morris to the Los Angeles Clippers and Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks.