Julius Randle’s unexpected climb to stardom was one of the feel-good stories in the NBA last season, and a sign of hope for a Knicks team that snapped an eight-year playoff drought.
This season’s Knicks could’ve built on the momentum from last year’s 4-seed squad but instead misspent their money — starting with Randle, who has fallen in nearly every statistic.
- Last offseason, Randle signed a four-year, $117 million extension through 2024-25, plus a player option for 2025-26.
- In 2020-21, Randle (24.1 PPG, 45.6% FG, 41.1% 3PT) earned his first All-Star appearance and was the Most Improved Player award; those numbers have dipped to 18.5/41.4/30.3.
- They signed Kemba Walker for two years, $17.8 million — but he’s averaging the fewest PPG (12.0) of his career.
- They inked Evan Fournier to a four-year, $78 million deal — but he’s in the midst of the second-worst shooting season of his career (43% FG).
The trio — which can hardly be called a Big Three — makes up 39% of a $122 million payroll.
To add further intrigue, Randle unfollowed the Knicks on Instagram as soon as he became eligible to be traded on Thursday. Don’t be surprised if the Knicks move the face of the franchise before the Feb. 10 trade deadline.