NBA Rumors: Celtics Could Get Julius Randle From Knicks Using $28.5 Million Trade Exception

In a recent article, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report talked about title contenders in the NBA and how they could fix their biggest roster problems with trade. For the Boston Celtics, Swartz suggested they should try to acquire Julius Randle from the New York Knicks to address their need for improvement at the starting power forward position.

Swartz made this suggestion because Randle's $18.9 million salary wouldn't be a problem for the Celtics to absorb. Since they have the $28.5 million trade exception from their sign-and-trade deal with the Charlotte Hornets, where they gave them Gordon Hayward, the Celtics wouldn't need to sacrifice one of their core players to match New York's outgoing salary. Even if the Knicks demand the inclusion of a young player and a future first-round pick in the package, trading for Randle would still make a lot of sense for Boston.

As Swartz noted, bringing Randle to Beantown would give the Celtics a versatile starting power forward who could help them improve their floor-spacing and assist percentage.

"Bringing in a more versatile power forward—one who can knock down threes at a higher clip and play-make for others at times—would help. Boston is just 29th in assist percentage (53.8 percent) and has remained in the bottom four even with Walker's return from a knee injury. Julius Randle, 26, is assembling the best season of his career (22.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists per game, 35.6 percent from three) for the New York Knicks. His long-term future with the franchise was in doubt after the team selected power forward Obi Toppin at No. 8 overall this past draft, meaning Randle could be available via trade."

Jaylen Brown #7 of the Boston Celtics guards Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks as he takes the ball down court during the first half of their game at Madison Square Garden on October 26, 2019 in New York City.
Getty Images | Emilee Chinn

Randle would be an incredible addition to the Celtics, giving them a very reliable scoring option, rebounder, on-court facilitator, and a legitimate threat from beyond the arc. Having a floor-spacing big man like him would be beneficial for Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker. Randle could draw defenders from the three-point range, which would make it easier for Tatum, Brown, and Walker to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when they are trapped by the opposing team's defense.

At 26, Randle also perfectly fits the timeline of Tatum and Brown. A starting lineup of Walker, Brown, Tatum, Randle, and Tristan Thompson could give the Celtics a better matchup against Eastern Conference powerhouse teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, and the Milwaukee Bucks.

Randle may not have shown any signs that he's no longer happy in New York, but he may be intrigued by the idea of playing in Boston. Compared to the Knicks, joining the Celtics might give him a realistic chance of winning his first championship ring.