The New York Knicks shouldn’t rush to give Julius Randle a max extension.
After being the laughing stock of the NBA for what seemed like forever, the New York Knicks, somehow, have morphed into a good, competent franchise.
There are a lot of reasons for the Knicks‘ success this past season: The hiring of head coach Tom Thibodeau, the work of the front office during the last offseason, and the excellent play and chemistry shown by the players that resonated with fans; But the biggest reason for the Knicks success is thanks in large part to Julius Randle.
Randle had a career year; putting up 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game in the regular season, all career bests.
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The 26-year-old forward made his first career all-star game, will soon be named to an all-NBA team, and might even crack the top five in the official MVP ballot. In fact, the Ringer’s Bill Simmons recently mentioned in his podcast, The Bill Simmons Podcast, that he had Randle fifth in his MVP ballot.
Now that the Knicks season is over though, they have a lot of things to address this offseason, including the new face of the franchise, Julius Randle.
The big lefty signed a three-year, $62 million deal with New York back in 2019. Randle has one year left on that deal, worth $19 million, but only $4 million of it is guaranteed. The Knicks could decide to give Randle an extension this summer, worth a maximum of $106 million over four years, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Based on the Knicks’ success this past season, extending Randle seems like a no-brainer, right?
Should the New York Knicks give a big extension to Julius Randle this offseason?
The guy had a career year on the biggest stage in basketball. He made his first all-star game, will surely make an all-NBA team when they get announced, and even got serious MVP buzz and actual votes. He was the anchor to the most beloved Knicks team since the Patrick Ewing days. Plus, he’s only 26 years old.
Well, I’m here to tell you that the Knicks should not extend Randle. Now, before you click off this article, hear me out.
The Knicks didn’t just lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Atlanta Hawks, they got beat down!
If it weren’t for a poor shooting performance in the second half of game two from the Hawks, Atlanta would have swept the Knicks.
The Knicks’ struggles in that series are in large part due to the play of Julius Randle. In the five-game series against the Hawks, Randle averaged 18 points, 11.6 rebounds, and four assists per game.
That’s six points less than his regular-season average of 24.1 and two assists less. But those aren’t the most important stats to look at.
Randle shot just 29.8 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3. That’s atrocious! Plus, he averaged 4.6 turnovers through those five games. Yikes!
These numbers actually don’t represent how bad Randle looked in the playoffs. He constantly dribbled into double teams, forced bad shots, and just made a ton of poor decisions.
Now, I know it seems like I’m hating on Randle, but as a Knicks fan myself, I actually want the Knicks to retain Randle, just not at the price he would get if the Knicks extended this summer.
Randle was the main part in the rejuvenation of the Knicks franchise this past season. Having said that, his poor playoff performance should not be overlooked
Some players go up a level in the postseason like we’ve seen Trae Young and Devin Booker do this year, and others just have a hard time dealing with all the pressure and get into their heads like Julius Randle.
The best thing for the Knicks to do this offseason concerning Randle is to not give him an extension, but instead, restructure his last year remaining on his deal, so that the remaining $19 million left is fully guaranteed.
From there, the Knicks need to build a better team around Randle. This summer the front office should look to add more shooting, more playmaking, try an upgrade at the point guard position, and add bigger size out on the wing. Then, give Randle a crack at being the face of the franchise again next year, to see if he can really be a player worth a max contract.