Knicks Notes: Randle, Ntilikina, Collins, Drummond, Robinson

Julius Randle is in the midst of his best season since entering the NBA, punctuating that point on Monday as he led the Knicks to a win over the Hawks by pouring in 44 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists. After the game, Randle’s teammates made it clear that they believe he deserves All-Star recognition for his performance this season.

“It’s hard not to put him in the game,” RJ Barrett said, according to Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “What else does he have to do? The man is an All-Star.”

So far this season, Randle is averaging career highs in points per game (23.1), rebounds (11.0), assists (5.6), and three-point percentage (40.6%), among other categories. And while he has posted strong box-score numbers in the past, this version of Randle is making a greater “impact on winning,” according to head coach Tom Thibodeau.

“I think he’s making other people better,” Thibodeau said. “He’s played an all-around game. Strong on both sides of the ball. He’s played an unselfish game. He’s doing it in a number of different ways. Playing multiple positions. He’s a point forward, he’s a forward, he’s a center. He’s doing it all. The most important thing is the impact he’s having on winning. Hopefully it’ll be recognized.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • After missing the last week due to the NBA’s coronavirus contact tracing protocols, Frank Ntilikina has been cleared and is expected to join the Knicks for Wednesday’s game in Orlando, tweets Vorkunov.
  • The Knicks have yet to inquire on John Collins, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post, who says NBA executives believe the Hawks are unlikely to trade the big man unless they receive a “whopping” offer.
  • Cavaliers center Andre Drummond, who is expected to be traded in the coming weeks, would consider the Knicks a “good landing spot,” Berman writes in the same story.
  • A weekend report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski indicated that Mitchell Robinson would undergo surgery on his fractured right hand, but the injured center is getting one more consultation on Tuesday before making a final decision on that procedure, says Berman.
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