One of the Knicks’ biggest splashes in free agency this summer is signing the former lottery pick Julius Randle to a lucrative deal to shore up the power forward spot.
The New York Knicks are signing unrestricted free agent power forward Julius Randle to a three year, $63 million contract. Randle most recently played for the New Orleans Pelicans.
The deal was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, and confirmed by Ian Begley. It includes a third year team option.
Free agent Julius Randle has agreed to a three-year, $63M deal with the New York Knicks, CAA agents Aaron Mintz and Steve Heumann tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 30, 2019
League source confirms the Knicks and Julius Randle have reached an agreement. @wojespn reports that it’s a 3-year $63 million deal.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) June 30, 2019
The three-year, $63 million deal Julius Randle agreed to with the New York Knicks contains a team option on the final year, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) June 30, 2019
Randle landed on New York’s radar in the weeks leading up to free agency. The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears mentioned of mutual interest between the parties in a profile of the team’s front office.
He averaged 21.4 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3.1 assists last season in 73 appearances for New Orleans, shooting 52.4% from the floor, 34.4% from three, and 73.1% from the free throw line. For advanced metrics, Randle was a 55.5 eFG% and 60 TS% shooter at a 27.3 USG%, per NBA Stats, and a 21 PER player.
Randle struggled on the defensive side of the ball last season, but paired next to Mitchell Robinson, one can imagine, the former Los Angeles Lakers seventh-overall pick would have flaws masked on that end while given the opportunity to shine as an interior and post player on offense. Randle is a strong rebounder and bullyball bucket-getter—an archetype New York severely lacked last season on its course to the league’s worst 17-65 record.
Randle’s deal does not prevent the Knicks from signing more high-level free agents, especially not one max-level player, like the rumored interested Kevin Durant. Durant, who ruptured his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals, is expected to miss all of the upcoming season; however, his incumbent team, the Golden State Warriors, are prepared to offer him a five-year maximum contract worth $221 million. Teams like the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, and Los Angeles Clippers could offer something in the four-year, $164 million.
The Knicks have also been rumored to be interested in free agents Kawhi Leonard, DeMarcus Cousins, Terry Rozier, George Hill, and Robin Lopez.