Knicks Notes: Randle, Offseason Storylines, Report Card, Rose, More

At the center of the Knicks‘ offseason plans is the complicated future of forward Julius Randle. On one hand, the talented forward made his third All-Star appearance in the last four seasons and helped power New York to one of the best months in franchise history during a 12-2 January. On the other, he suffered an injury at the end of January and didn’t play a single second the rest of the season as New York pushed Indiana to seven games in the conference semifinals.

As the New York Post’s Stefan Bondy writes, it isn’t impossible to come up with a theoretical trade package in the Knicks’ well-publicized pursuit of another star that precludes Randle. However, both Bondy and The Athletic’s Fred Katz note that including Randle in such talks could be New York’s best way to adding star power.

The Knicks aren’t trying to trade Randle, at least not yet, according to Katz. However, his eligibility for an extension (which begins Aug. 3) complicates factors. If the Knicks decide to go the route of maintaining continuity, Randle can sign for as much as $181.5MM across four years. Thankfully for the Knicks, Randle’s extension eligibility beginning in early August works in their favor, Katz explains — August is late enough in the offseason to recognize the team’s potential (or lack thereof) to acquire another star in 2024, but it’s also early enough to keep him available by the time the Feb. 2025 trade deadline rolls around, as players are ineligible to be traded for six months after extension.

With an expensive roster on the horizon, the Knicks have soul searching to do this offseason, Katz writes. If they feel they’re contenders in August, they’ll likely lock everyone up. If they don’t, it will accelerate the timeline of any difficult decision, assuming those decisions aren’t made even earlier this upcoming offseason.

We have more Knicks notes:

  • The Knicks also have a decision to make on forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who was acquired via trade at the 2024 deadline but saw his production drop upon his arrival in New York. Bogdanovic, who ended the season injured, has only $2MM guaranteed if he’s released by June 28. If he isn’t, his guarantee increases to $19MM. As Katz writes in the same piece, what New York does with Bogdanovic could be telling for the rest of the offseason. If they keep him past June 28, it could signal a trade for a star, as his mid-sized salary would be useful for matching purposes. Katz speculates the Knicks could look to try and come to an agreement with Bogdanovic and postpone his trigger date until July.
  • Other offseason storylines outside of OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein‘s futures include whether the Knicks should move their Nos. 24 and 25 picks in the 2024 draft and the futures of free agents Alec Burks and Precious Achiuwa. Regarding the latter point, Katz writes Burks could command more than the minimum in unrestricted free agency, which would make it difficult to justify keeping a player who had an inconsistent second tenure with the team but who caught fire to end the year. As for Achiuwa, his restricted free agency gives New York more options, such as a potential sign-and-trade to another team.
  • Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart had the best seasons of any Knicks players, according to Bondy in his end-of-season report card (subscriber link). Brunson’s stardom and Hart’s role as the do-it-all glue guy earned them the top spots. Jericho Sims, who didn’t play consistent minutes even after New York’s roster was banged up, earned Bondy’s lowest grade. However, Bondy reports that opposing teams have expressed interest in trading for the 25-year-old big if he becomes available.
  • Knicks president Leon Rose declined to hold an end-of-season press conference, according to Katz (Twitter link). Katz points out that no Knicks official has spoken to media on the record since 2021 and Rose hasn’t done an individual press conference since taking over in 2020.
  • After seven straight seasons of failing to reach 40 wins from 2013-20, the Knicks are a respectable and strong team in the East’s hierarchy. Howard Beck of The Ringer takes a look back at how Rose helped morph the Knicks into what they are today and how it began with not trading for Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell, whose arrival might have inhibited Brunson’s ability to break out on this scale.
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