While Knicks forward Julius Randle has been viewed as a potential trade candidate for most of the last year, Ian Begley of SNY.tv (video link) says there “prominent members” of the organization that view Randle as part of the team’s young core going forward.
Having said that, Begley notes that the Knicks will still probably explore possible trades for Randle before this year’s deadline, if only to gauge his value around the league. Based on Begley’s report, it sounds like the team is more likely to consider incoming inquiries on the 26-year-old than to actively shop him themselves.
Here’s more on the Knicks:
- RJ Barrett‘s role is worth keeping an eye on, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who observes that the second-year forward has logged 27 or more minutes just once in the Knicks’ last six games after leading the league in minutes played earlier in the season. Asked about Barrett’s dip in playing time, head coach Tom Thibodeau cited New York’s depth and a need to try different lineup combinations when the team falls behind early, as it did vs. Orlando on Wednesday.
- While Barrett continues to start and play a rotation role, that’s not the case for another former Knicks lottery pick — Frank Ntilikina hasn’t appeared in a game since December 29. According to Berman, Ntilikina is still working on his conditioning after spending a week in the health and safety protocols, but isn’t a great bet to return to the rotation even when he’s back to full speed, as he appears to be “mostly trade bait” at this point.
- Given the Knicks’ need for star power, Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic considers 42 potential targets around the league, beginning with the presumably untouchable stars before moving onto some impact players who could be more realistic options, including Zach LaVine and Kyle Lowry.