Knicks Notes: Randle, Griffin, O’Quinn, Ntilikina

Julius Randle has become not only an All-Star this season, but the leader of a Knicks team that’s firmly in the playoff race, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. When New York’s season ended early last year, Randle went home to work on his body and his game. That preparation helped him get ready for the demands of new coach Tom Thibodeau.

Randle leads the NBA in minutes played and hasn’t missed any of New York’s 37 games. He has career-high numbers with 23.2 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game and is shooting 40.8% from three-point range after hitting just 27.7% from beyond the arc last year. He has also become more vocal in his interactions with the media.

“I definitely think I’ve grown as a leader,” Randle said. “I definitely think I’m a person on our team that leads by example with how I approach how I work. I care about my teammates. I definitely think it’s something that guys look to me every night to bring my game a certain way. I try to the best of my ability to do that. Absolutely I embrace it. I work for it. I challenge myself and push myself to be able to do it on a nightly basis. I know I still have a long way to go and I can get a lot better as well.”

There’s more from New York:

  • The Knicks won’t make a play for Blake Griffin, who was bought out by the Pistons this week, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Randle already occupies heavy minutes at power forward, and the team doesn’t want to add someone who will take playing time away from first-round pick Obi Toppin. The cross-town Nets are considered the favorites to sign Griffin.
  • There have been internal discussions about bringing back center Kyle O’Quinn, who is currently playing in Turkey, Berman adds. With starting center Mitchell Robinson sidelined, the Knicks are looking for another big man to back up Nerlens Noel. O’Quinn played 29 games last season for the Sixers.
  • Ian Begley of spoke to representatives of two rival teams about Knicks point guard Frank Ntilikina, who enjoyed a resurgence over the final five games of the first half. Injuries created an opportunity for Ntilikina, who responded by hitting eight of 12 three-point attempts over that stretch and displaying the defensive skills that prompted New York to make him a lottery pick in 2017. The two representatives agreed that if Ntilikina is traded, it’s more likely to be as part of a package, rather than by himself.
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21 thoughts on “Knicks Notes: Randle, Griffin, O’Quinn, Ntilikina

  1. Sillivan

    Nets should use MLE to offer Griffin 2 years 11 million

    Lakers Clippers Celtics and other teams may not be able to offer more

  2. infield fly 2

    I heard that Griffin is shot and can’t even jump high enough to dunk anymore.

  3. phillyballers

    Would be funny if the Knicks got Griffin… they go to the extreme positionally like only point guard or only power forward signings or picks.

  4. KnickerbockerAl

    OQuinn , I don’t think so. If they really want to make a showing in playoffs. Just get Drummond he won’t cost much. Then we can move Noel for value. I like Thibs getting a long look at Drummond. Look at Randle. He got half a yr and playoffs to work his magic on Drummond. Imagine it works. Then we can move Mitch. Drummond, Mitch, RJ, Randle is a strong 4 in playoffs. Be fun to watch.

    • 5-8center

      Why would we want to move Mitch? He is young, cheap and has been improving a lot this yr

      • Exactly. Why in the world would the Knicks want to let Robinson go? The Knicks hit the jack pot drafting Robinson in the 2nd round of the 2018 draft. There are not enough athletic talented centers to go around. Robinson is only 22 years old. Imagine if Robinson can add to his game.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        Do you know NY. Drummond is 27 and Mitch may never put up his numbers. You should google last time they played. And see Drummond just played him like a drum. Mitch is still learning and growing. Nothing wrong with getting a look at Drummond. Thibs coaching would help his D. Knicks now are on fast track to build a winner. Just how NY works. I hope Thibs doesn’t get lost in it. It’s a big reason why I wanted him as coach he knows NY. Truth is the pressure now is to build on this small success. So I’m just looking at doing it the right way. Like I said. Getting Drummond for “not much” is worth a good look especially with Taj n Mitch hurt. He gives us options. It’s not about moving Mitch.

        • Am sure that the Knicks and most teams would like to have Drummond. Aren’t the Cavs going to want something in a trade from the Knicks? The Cavs don’t want the Knick’s scraps such as Payton andor other mediocre players. Certainly would not give up Robinson in a trade for Drummond. Unless I don’t understand FA rules, when this season is over, Drummond is free to go anywhere he wants. If the Knicks were to acquire Drummond in a trade, the Knicks won’t have dibs or be able to offer Drummond more than other teams.

        • formerlyz

          So now you’re trying to move Mitchell Robinson for Drummond? I dont get why you have such an affinity for bigs, especially those that arent good. Every single one of the Knicks bigs are better than Drummond. Mitchell Robinson, Noel, Taj Gibson are all better than him. I dont get what is so hard to understand about that, but you also keep trying to bring back multibig lineups and say every team needs bigs, when they dont, so maybe you just want to see teams get worse, or you just miss the 90s. To be fair, I somewhat do too. I’m a fan of defense, but the way those hard nosed defenses work now is different

    • BO don't know Ball

      If NYK decides not to hang their hat on defense then by all means sign away! Trade Noel or Robinson to make room for Drummond. Email that idea to Rose, Perry, Thibodeau I’m sure it gets due consideration

  5. 5-8center

    Knicks dont need another center, Mitch and Taj will be back soon. Noel has been ballin, he is a good backup. The only trade Knicks need is for a star, but imo they should for the offseason. Trade Payton and keep the rest of the guys

    • Agree. The Knicks are in a great position. Some young athletic talent on their roster. Not a single bad contract on the roster. Lots of open cap space next season. Excellent coach. As you say, the Knicks should just focus on adding quality. Better to make no trade or signing than a bad trade or signing.

      • buttholesurfer69

        Exactly – still a little concerned with some of Randle’s numbers, hope they stick

  6. Lionel Muggeridge

    They’ve gone 7-3 since Noel began starting. Mitch is better off the bench anyway. They should keep Frank. Tibs might get the best out of him

  7. MadDogNoGood

    Griffin will not be considered as the article states…we’re good at the 4/pf. We could definitely use another big. I prefer OQuinn as a backup. Although we may be able to acquire Drummond when he’s bought out…because I don’t want to give up assets for a rental. His asking price to resign may be too expensive.

  8. KnickerbockerAl

    Mitch will be out at least 4-5 wks. He will need to get back in gm shape too. Taj who is not even a C. Will be out another week or so. Knicks want to make a run at playoffs. It’s pretty clear now they are a legitimate playoff team. To get even stronger for playoffs. And giving up not more than 2nd rd pick. Drummond makes sense. He will have his chance to show us n Thibs. Even have a chance to do it in playoffs. Its a smart move IMO.

  9. formerlyz

    Oh so the things I was literally just attacked for saying in the previous Knicks article about Ntilikina are echoed here. Interesting.

    • x%sure

      You mean how he has spent his entire career being defined by whether or not the Knicks were publicly making him available?

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