January 28, 2021
NBA Rumors: Wizards Could Acquire Julius Randle For Three Players & 2021 First-Rounder

Most trade rumors and hypothetical scenarios involving the Washington Wizards have involved their top scorer Bradley Beal. However, in a recent list of recommended blockbuster deals, Bleacher Report wrote that the team -- which is currently last place in the Eastern Conference with a 3-11 record -- could instead focus on finding a capable No. 2 option behind the NBA's erstwhile leading scorer by targeting New York Knicks forward Julius Randle.

As discussed by the outlet's Zach Buckley on Wednesday, the Wizards have consistently maintained that they want to build their franchise around Beal. But while it might still be interesting to discuss possible transactions involving the 27-year-old shooting guard, Washington could also make a move for Randle, who is currently putting up huge all-around numbers for the Knicks but might be an example of a player whose stats are "inflated" by the lack of supporting talent on his team.

"Randle won't be the focal point of a good team, but could he be a strong sidekick?" Buckley wrote. "That's a question the Wizards should find out. While they must be cautious about over-investing in a season that might fall short of the playoffs, Randle shouldn't be prohibitively expensive to get."

Julius Randle of the New York Knicks shoots over Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans.
Getty Images | Patrick Smith

According to the Bleacher Report writer, the Wizards could theoretically acquire Randle for a package featuring veteran reserves Robin Lopez and Ish Smith, third-year wingman Troy Brown Jr., and a lottery-protected 2021 first-round selection. As noted, the former Kentucky Wildcats star could help Washington through his versatile skill set, which has allowed him to average 22.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, and six assists this season, per Basketball-Reference.

The above numbers, however, are likely to go down if the deal becomes a reality, especially with Beal teaming up with Russell Westbrook to give the Wizards an All-Star-caliber starting backcourt.

As for the Knicks, Buckley pointed out that the club's most important players are among its youngest ones, as R.J. Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, and rookies Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley are all 22 years old and below, with lots of room for improvement. The 2021 first-rounder could turn into one of the many future rookies who might be a key part of New York's rebuilding process, while Brown, at 21 years old, fits into the timeline of the Knicks' young core and has lots of potential as a former first-round selection.

As further noted, Lopez and Smith were mainly included in the trade idea for salary-matching purposes, though both are defensive-minded players with years of NBA experience, thus making them ideal fits for Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau's system.