The New York Knicks’ loss to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals was devasting for the New York fanbase. What really stood out like a sore thumb was the performance from Julius Randle, who was supposed to be their main offensive option instead of Jalen Brunson.
His average of 16 points per game in the playoffs this year was horrendous but what really did it was his choke-job in the must-win Game 6. He scored just 15 points on 21 percent shooting. After that scoring display, fans have been seen stomping on Randle posters outside Madison Square Garden after the game. Some fans have even called for him to be traded.
Randle joined the Knicks on a three-year, $63 millon contract but on Aug. 26, 2021, he signed an extension. With the extension, he now has a player option in 2025-26. But the Knicks can still trade him if worse does come to worse.
The Washington Wizards may lead the conversation if Randle is to be traded
The Wizards are in need of an upgrade which is why they could lead the chase for the All-NBA forward. However, they may want to think it over carefully. In order to grab Randle, the Wizards will most likely have to give up one of their young forwards.
Kyle Kuzma is finally starting to become his own player who can carry the Wizards throughout late-game situations. He’s also developing a reliable 3-point shot; all these things he’s gained since joining the Wizards. He’s obviously the best fit for Washington.
Corey Kispert is a young, talented forward who the Wizards can really use. He can space the floor with his amazing 3-point shot and find his way to the rim.
That leaves Deni Avdija, who might be the one the Wizards would have to surrender. He has great playmaking skills but doesn’t have a dependable jump shot and lacks extreme quickness.
The Washington Wizards would likely have to include one or a few of these young forwards in order to make this trade work. Either that or trade star Kristaps Porzingis who seems to be happy in DC.
Even with the relatively low asking price, the Wizards should still be hesitant
His bad playoff performance this year is a testament to how he’s been in the postseason. For his career, he averages 18 points but when the playoffs come around, it takes a drop. Granted, he’s only made two playoff appearances but it’s still concerning. He hasn’t averaged over 18 points in either appearance.
Randle’s historically bad drop-off in the playoffs has some NBA pundits calling him a “regular-season player” who folds under the playoff pressure.
Though he hasn’t proven himself as a championship player, his overall talent can’t be questioned. He still has great ballhandling skills for a big man and can get to the rim in a crafty way. He also has a decent 3-point shot. This season, he proven it as he recorded a career-high 218 3-pointers.
Despite his elite talents, another reason Randle might be given the cold shoulder is due to how he carries himself in certain situations. When his team is losing or if he’s not able to contribute on the court, he shows it through his body language. Whenever he starts to look uninterested and has his head down, it shows that he lacks leadership skills. This is something a lot of sport talk hosts point out about him.
Randle has a lot of positive qualities but unfortunately, his negative ones cause an imbalance.