Suns, Julius Randle May Have Mutual Interest

While Julius Randle technically remains under contract with the Pelicans for the 2019/20 season, he has the ability to opt out and hit the open market this summer, and will likely do so. With Randle expected to become a free agent, John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports 98.7 (Twitter link) hears that the big man has interest in the Suns.

Randle would be a curious fit with the Suns, who have Deandre Ayton in place as their long-term center. A Randle/Ayton pairing may not be ideal, given each player’s desire to score near the basket on offense and limited rim-protecting ability on defense. However, Randle could be a very productive scorer off the bench for Phoenix if he’s interested in that role.

In 73 games (49 starts) for the Pelicans this past season, Randle set a new career high with 21.4 PPG, chipping in 8.7 RPG, and 3.1 APG.

Based on those numbers, Randle figures to be seeking a raise, but Phoenix won’t have a ton of cap flexibility, particularly if the team wants to retain restricted free agent Kelly Oubre. Barring cost-cutting moves, the Suns figure to function as an over-the-cap club, so they’d be limited to offering Randle the mid-level exception, which projects to be worth only slightly more ($9.25MM) than his 2019/20 player option ($9.07MM). The Suns may prefer to use most or all of that exception on a point guard.

Still, this could be a situation worth watching. In addition to reporting Randle’s apparent interest in Phoenix, Gambadoro adds that he fully expects the Suns to consider Randle in free agency.

View Comments (17)