Brandon Ingram

Free Agency Won’t Deter Ingram From Playing In Restart

Top restricted free agent Brandon Ingram never considered sitting out the remainder of the season, according to USA Today’s Mark Medina.

The Pelicans‘ star forward was enjoying a breakout season prior to the stoppage of play in March, averaging 24.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 4.3 APG in his fourth NBA campaign after being included in the blockbuster Anthony Davis swap. He averaged 18.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG and 3.0 APG in his third and final season with the Lakers.

New Orleans will try to hold off five other teams during the restart and secure the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth. Ingram felt that he couldn’t let his teammates down despite a big payday looming this offseason.

“I didn’t look at it as if I had a choice of going or not. My teammates knew that I didn’t question it or anything. I just wanted to play basketball at the end of the day,” Ingram said. “I’m going to do it and let my teammates know I’m there 110%. I have to be there. It wasn’t a question.”

The Pelicans will extend a $9,481,458 qualifying offer to Ingram to make him a restricted free agent. He’s unquestionably the top RFA on the market, though few teams have significant salary cap space. Ingram could also gamble and sign the QA, then become an unrestricted free agent next offseason.

Ingram isn’t ready to declare that he’ll stick around New Orleans long-term.

“That is definitely a question that will be answered after the season. But how I feel right now? I feel really good about this team,” he said. “I like where I’m at. But that’s a decision that is going to have a lot of factors after the season.”

Ingram does see a bright future for the team and is excited to find out what his teammates can accomplish on the Orlando campus.

“We’re very excited. We’re building some momentum into getting better each and every day,” Ingram said. “Of course we haven’t reached where we want to go. It’s a long ways away. But I think we’re getting steps and steps closer to where we want to get to be at.”

Ingram’s last season in Los Angeles was cut short after team doctors discovered he had a blood clot called deep venous thrombosis. The Pelicans declined to give him a rookie scale extension last year in part because of health concerns.

He left no doubt about his health this season while making his first All-Star appearance.

Southwest Notes: D’Antoni, Grizzlies, Hardaway, Ingram

Potential lame-duck Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni‘s expiring contract with the team will not affect his tenure with the team for the rest of the 2019/20 season, if play resumes, per Sam Amick of The Athletic. D’Antoni’s contract is technically set to expire on July 1st.

The 40-24 Rockets not need fear D’Antoni walking before the season is over, according to the coach’s agent, Warren LeGarie. “It’s obviously something we have to work out,” LeGarie told Amick, “but he would never, ever walk away from what he feels is a moral responsibility to see it through with his team and especially with his players.”

There’s more out of the Southwest Division:

  • The 32-33 Grizzlies, currently the No. 8 seed in the West, will be confronting some interesting questions during the offseason, according to The Athletic’s Peter Edmiston and John Hollinger. De’Anthony Melton, a restricted free agent, could command a deal in the range of the mid-level exception. The versatile Justise Winslow, acquired as part of a larger trade deadline deal with the Heat, remains an exciting potential fit with core pieces Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, though his health has been an issue throughout his early career.
  • Mavericks team owner Mark Cuban is excited about how Tim Hardaway Jr. has fit with the squad during his first year in Dallas, according to an interview with WFAN recounted by Stefan Bondy of the New York Post. “Quickest release in the NBA,” Cuban raved. “Probably one of the top three catch-and-shoot players in all of the NBA now.” This season, the 28-year-old shooting guard has averaged 15.8 PPG, 3.1 PG, and 2.0 APG on 43.7% shooting from the field. He has converted 40.7% of his 7.2 three-point attempts per game.
  • Pelicans All-Star Brandon Ingram, a restricted free agent in the offseason this year, has earned a maximum contract with his growth during 2019-20, according to William Guillory and Danny Leroux of The Athletic. The actual amount of that contract remains up in the air, due to a salary cap that will be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Pelicans Notes: Zion, Ball, Ingram, Holiday

It remains to be seen whether the NBA will be able to resume its 2019/20 season or whether teams outside of the playoff picture will get an opportunity to participate. However, if the Pelicans do get a chance to play this summer, Zion Williamson isn’t worried about needing several weeks to get back into playing shape, as Andrew Lopez of ESPN writes.

“Honestly, I’m ready now,” Williamson told TNT’s Ernie Johnson in an interview earlier this week. “I’ve been staying in shape, working on myself and just staying ready. You never know when the time is going to come when they’re going to say, ‘All right, let’s resume.’ I don’t want to have to look around at my teammates and say, ‘Sorry, guys, I’m not ready.’ So I’m staying ready for my teammates.”

Prior to the suspension of the NBA’s season, the Pelicans were hoping to push for a spot in the postseason, entering the home stretch trailing the eighth-seeded Grizzlies by 3.5 games but facing a favorable schedule. Williamson was disappointed to lose the momentum he and the team were building, but acknowledged to Johnson that the hiatus could be good for his body after he missed the first half of the season with a knee injury.

“It sucks because I had just come back after sitting three, four months without playing basketball or playing in an NBA game,” Williamson said. “As soon as I felt like I was getting going, this happens. It sucks from that perspective. But I think it’s a good thing because it gives me extra time to work on my knee and work on my body overall.”

Here’s more on Zion and the Pelicans:

  • The Pelicans were encouraged this season by the instant chemistry on display between Williamson and Lonzo Ball, one of the centerpieces of last year’s Anthony Davis trade, as Lopez writes in a separate ESPN story. “We think the fit is really, really good,” executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said. “(But) I didn’t think it would look quite like this this quickly.” Griffin added that the team believes the two former lottery picks are “just now scratching the surface of what they can do.”
  • Retaining Brandon Ingram this offseason is a “no-brainer,” but the Pelicans may face a tougher long-term decision on Jrue Holiday, John Hollinger says in a conversation with William Guillory of The Athletic. As Hollinger explains, the team will have to decide whether it makes sense to keep Holiday beyond his current contract, well into his 30s, or whether it might be more prudent to shop him before his deal expires in the hopes of gathering assets that would better line up with a Williamson/Ingram timeline.
  • In the second part of their discussion on the Pelicans’ future, Guillory and Hollinger examine what a Holiday trade might look like if the club goes that route, and explore a few other topics, including Alvin Gentry‘s future in New Orleans and the team’s center spot.

How 2020 All-NBA Picks Could Impact Contract Situations

All-NBA selections have become more important than ever in recent years, since teams can agree to increase the overall value of certain maximum-salary contracts based on whether or not a player has earned All-NBA honors in a given season.

Those higher max salaries are also available to players who win MVP or Defensive Player of the Year, but there’s only one of each of those awards per year. There are 15 All-NBA players annually, creating more opportunities for players to become eligible for those more lucrative contracts, informally known as “super-max” deals.

As we explain in our glossary entry on the “Designated Veteran Extension,” a player with between seven and nine years of NBA experience who meets certain contract criteria and hasn’t changed teams since the end of his rookie contract become eligible for a maximum salary worth 35% of the cap – instead of 30% – if he was named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season, or in two of the last three seasons.

Similar incentives are available for players coming off their rookie scale contracts, as noted in our glossary entry on the “Derrick Rose Rule.” Those players can earn max deals worth up to 30% of the cap instead of 25% if they were named to an All-NBA team in the most recent season, or in two of the last three seasons.

The differences between the various levels of maximum salaries can be substantial over the course of a long-term contract. For instance, in 2019/20, a five-year max contract that starts at 25% of the cap and includes 8% annual raises is worth just over $158MM. By comparison, a five-year deal that starts at 35% of the cap with 8% annual raises is worth over $221MM. A five-year contract at the 30% max falls in between, at about $190MM.

We don’t know yet what this year’s All-NBA teams will look like – or even when voting will take place – but as our informal polls last week showed, there are a number of candidates whose future earnings could be affected by whether or not they earn one of those 15 spots.

Let’s take a closer look at some of those players…

Players who have already qualified for super-max contracts:

Antetokounmpo and Gobert didn’t even need to rely on All-NBA spots to qualify for super-max contracts — Giannis’ MVP award last year and Gobert’s back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2018 and 2019 secured their eligibility.

Because both players only had six years of experience entering the 2019/20 season, they had to wait one more year to be eligible to actually receive super-max extension offers, which would be worth 35% of the cap instead of 30%.

Antetokounmpo is a lock to receive such an offer from the Bucks, who have publicly said they’ll put it on the table as soon as they can. That was supposed to happen this July, but the NBA’s hiatus has thrown that timeline into flux. Whenever Milwaukee makes its offer, it would be for a five-year extension that would start in 2021/22 and be worth 35% of that season’s cap.

Gobert’s outlook is cloudier. He could also sign a five-year, 35% max-salary extension that would start in 2021/22, but he’s not at the same level of superstardom that Giannis is, so it remains to be seen how aggressive the Jazz will actually be in attempting to lock him up beyond next season.

Players whose already-signed rookie extensions would be impacted by an All-NBA selection:

Siakam and Simmons signed maximum-salary rookie scale extensions with their respective teams last fall. Both contracts will go into effect in 2020/21 and both include Rose Rule language, meaning they’ll be among the players closely monitoring this year’s All-NBA results.

In our series of polls, Siakam earned a spot on the All-NBA Second Team. However, I think there’s a real possibility he could end up on the Third Team. Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, and Kawhi Leonard will likely receive more votes than Siakam. Anthony Davis will place higher than Siakam too if voters consider him a forward. And even if Davis is listed as a center, Jayson Tatum is among those who should give Siakam a strong push for that Second Team forward spot.

While Siakam might be satisfied to end up on any All-NBA team, a spot on the Second Team would be far more satisfying from a financial perspective. His deal calls for a starting salary worth 28% of the cap if he earns All-NBA Second Team honors, but just 25% if he makes the Third Team.

As we outlined in the fall, that difference would have been worth nearly $16MM over four years based on a $116MM cap. The cap is no longer expected to get that high, but even so, missing out on a Second Team spot would cost Siakam millions.

As for Simmons, he wasn’t one of the 15 players voted to an All-NBA team by Hoops Rumors readers, but he looks to me like a viable candidate for the Third Team. If he makes the Third Team, his starting salary would be 28% of next year’s cap, rather than the 25% he’d get if he doesn’t make an All-NBA squad. Those three percentage points would impact Simmons even more than they would Siakam over the life of their contracts, since Simmons’ five-year deal runs for an extra season and the amount of the annual raises are based on the starting salary.

Nuggets guard Jamal Murray also signed a rookie scale extension with Rose Rule language, but isn’t a realistic candidate for an All-NBA nod.

Players whose next contract could be impacted by an All-NBA selection this season:

If Embiid – who was voted onto Hoops Rumors’ All-NBA Third Team – earns an All-NBA spot this season after doing so last year, he’d be in the same position heading into 2020/21 that Antetokounmpo and Gobert were entering 2019 — he’d have qualified for a super-max extension, but wouldn’t yet be eligible to sign one.

Once the 2021/22 league year begins, Embiid would have seven years of NBA experience, with All-NBA nods in at least two of the last three years, making him eligible to sign a four-year super-max extension that would begin in 2023/24, with a starting salary worth 35% of the cap. Even if Embiid doesn’t make an All-NBA team this season, doing so next year would still make him eligible for that same deal.

As for Ingram, he’s a long shot to be named to an All-NBA team, but in the unlikely event that he is, he’d be eligible to sign for a starting salary of up to 30% of the cap on a new free agent contract with the Pelicans. No other team looking to sign him to an offer sheet could exceed 25% of the cap in that scenario.

Other players to start monitoring if they earn All-NBA honors this season:

These players fall into a few separate sub-categories. Jokic and Booker, for instance, are in their fifth seasons and on their second NBA contracts. An All-NBA spot – which is far likelier for Jokic – would be a good start toward earning super-max eligibility, but they’d still have to make another All-NBA team in either 2021 or 2022 to become eligible to sign a Designated Veteran Extension in 2022.

Doncic, an All-NBA lock, and Young, a lesser candidate, are only in their second NBA seasons. If they were to make All-NBA teams this year and next, they’d be eligible to sign rookie scale extensions with starting salaries worth up to 30% of the cap during the 2021 offseason. Those deals would go into effect in 2022/23.

Adebayo, Mitchell, and Tatum are all in their third seasons and will be extension-eligible during the 2020 offseason. Earning an All-NBA spot this year actually wouldn’t do much for their Rose Rule eligibility — they’d still have to do it again in 2021 to qualify, since the criteria calls for an All-NBA berth in either the season before the new contract begins or in two of the three prior seasons.

Still, earning All-NBA honors this year would give those three players additional leverage to negotiate Rose Rule language into their potential rookie scale extensions, which would go into effect in 2021/22.

Strong All-NBA candidates who are notably ineligible for super-max contracts:

Beal was in position to qualify for a super-max extension if he had earned All-NBA honors this season, but the short-term contract extension he signed last October eliminated that possibility. By the time that extension expires, he’ll have 10 years of NBA experience and will be eligible for the 35% max anyway.

Davis has the right amount of NBA experience to gain eligibility and should be an All-NBA lock, but the fact that he changed teams last summer ensures he’ll no longer qualify for a Designated Veteran Contract this offseason — he missed out on the possibility of the super-max as soon as he left the Pelicans.

Various other All-NBA candidates won’t meet the super-max criteria for various reasons. Some, like James Harden, are already on a super-max contract. Others, such as LeBron James, already have 10+ years of experience and can’t qualify for a higher max than the 35% they already get. Recently changing teams (ie. Jimmy Butler) or signing new long-term deals (ie. Khris Middleton) also remove certain players from super-max contention.

Photos courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Coronavirus Updates: EuroLeague, NBL, Bubble City, Salaries

The deadline on whether to resume the EuroLeague and EuroCup seasons is the end of May, according to league president Jordi Bertomeu, Emiliano Carchia of Sportando tweets. The final decision will be made during the last two weeks of the month, Carchia adds. If play is resumed, it wouldn’t begin any later than July, Carchia adds in another tweet.

We have more coronavirus-related updates:

  • Players in Australia’s NBL have agreed to a tiered system of pay reductions, with players earning $200K or more receiving a 50% pay cut, Olgun Uluc of ESPN Australia reports. The minimum player salary of $60K will remain and those players making $80K or less won’t see a reduction. All players will have an opportunity during the two weeks leading up to free agency to opt out of their current contracts. However, each player’s NBL rights will be retained by their respective club, Uluc adds.
  • There’s hope that immediate family members would be able to accompany their NBA-playing relatives to Las Vegas if they NBA opts for “bubble” concept to resume the season, according to David Aldridge of The Athletic. By allowing close family members to join them, the desire to leave the city during the resumption of play would be eliminated, an unnamed player agent told Aldridge.
  • Players such as Ben Simmons and Pascal Siakam who signed rookie scale extensions last fall will have their pay reduced based on this season’s salary, not the first year of their extensions, Bobby Marks of ESPN notes. Players agreed to have 25% of their paychecks withheld beginning on May 15. Restricted free agents such as Brandon Ingram will also have their pay reductions come out of just their 2019/20 salary, not future earnings, Marks adds.

And-Ones: KG, Seattle, Free Agent Wings, Broekhoff

Speaking this week to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, newly-elected Hall-of-Famer Kevin Garnett said he’d love to play a part in bringing the NBA back to the city of Seattle.

“If I have a dream, I would say that I would love to be able to go and buy the Seattle SuperSonics and reactivate the Seattle Northwest and get NBA loving back going into that area,” Garnett told Reynolds. “I think it’s needed and it’s essential. Seattle was huge to our league. Not just Portland, but the whole northwest. I would love to be able to do that.”

Although Garnett earned nearly $344MM over the course of his 21-year NBA career, per Basketball-Reference, it’s not clear that he has the net worth required to be the majority owner of an NBA franchise.

Still, if the league eventually becomes open to the idea of an expansion team in Seattle, it’s not inconceivable that Garnett could get involved in an ownership group. Dwyane Wade has previously expressed a desire to get involved in such an endeavor as well.

Here are more odds and ends from around the basketball world:

  • In the first part of his breakdown of 2020’s free agent market for wings, Danny Leroux of The Athletic says Brandon Ingram is the most obvious candidate for a max-level deal, while Danilo Gallinari, Marcus Morris, Evan Fournier, Bogdan Bogdanovic, and Malik Beasley are among the players who should be able to sign for more than the full mid-level.
  • Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report examines the most pressing salary cap issue facing each of the NBA’s 30 teams during the 2020 offseason.
  • Following a report from Sport5 (hat tip to Sportando) suggesting that Maccabi Tel Aviv may have interest in former Mavericks sharpshooter Ryan Broekhoff, the EuroLeague club responded by shooting down the idea that it’s already targeting players for next season amidst the COVID-19 uncertainty. “It was published today that Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv is ‘working on the next season’ and ‘targeting/interested’ in players,” the team said in a tweet. “We are clarifying here that this is false. The club doesn’t do that nowadays.”

Pelicans Ready To Match Any Offer To Brandon Ingram

The Pelicans plan to match any offer for restricted free agent Brandon Ingram, multiple sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. He shares that item as part of a response to a reader’s question on whether the Cavaliers will try to clear cap room for the offseason.

Ingram, who is coming off his first All-Star appearance, is a strong candidate for Most Improved Player. His scoring average has risen from 18.3 to 24.3 PPG and his numbers are up virtually across the board. He also seems to have overcome the Deep Venous Thrombosis issue that forced him to have season-ending surgery last March.

Health concerns factored into the Pelicans’ decision to not give Ingram a rookie scale extension in October, but he has proven his value in his first season in New Orleans. He will be among the top names this offseason in a relatively weak free agent class and should attract plenty of attention from the few teams with cap space.

USA Basketball Announces 44 Finalists For 2020 Olympic Roster

USA Basketball has formally announced a preliminary group of 44 players who are candidates to be part of the program’s roster for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The final roster will only consist of 12 players, so most of these finalists won’t actually play for Team USA at the Olympics. Some will likely withdraw from consideration, while others simply won’t make the final cut. However, these players have all expressed interest in being involved in the process.

“This is the first step in USA Basketball identifying the 12 players who will represent the United States as members of the 2020 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team in Tokyo,” said USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo.

“… Over the course of the remainder of the NBA season we’ll continue to monitor all of the athletes. Selecting the 12-man USA roster will obviously be an extremely challenging and difficult process, and we will again attempt to select the very best team possible to represent our country and who we hope will be successful in our difficult mission of repeating as Olympic champions for a fourth consecutive Olympics.”

Although the U.S. men’s team has won three consecutive Olympic gold medals, the program had a disappointing showing at last year’s World Cup, finishing in seventh place. Team USA will be looking for a bounce-back performance in Tokyo this summer, with many players from that World Cup squad among the 44 finalists announced today.

Here’s the full list of players who are candidates to play for Team USA at the 2020 Olympics:

  1. Bam Adebayo (Heat)
  2. LaMarcus Aldridge (Spurs)
  3. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  4. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  5. Devin Booker (Suns)
  6. Malcolm Brogdon (Pacers)
  7. Jaylen Brown (Celtics)
  8. Jimmy Butler (Heat)
  9. Mike Conley (Jazz)
  10. Stephen Curry (Warriors)
  11. Anthony Davis (Lakers)
  12. DeMar DeRozan (Spurs)
  13. Andre Drummond (Cavaliers)
  14. Kevin Durant (Nets)
  15. Paul George (Clippers)
  16. Draymond Green (Warriors)
  17. James Harden (Rockets)
  18. Montrezl Harrell (Clippers)
  19. Joe Harris (Nets)
  20. Tobias Harris (76ers)
  21. Gordon Hayward (Celtics)
  22. Dwight Howard (Lakers)
  23. Brandon Ingram (Pelicans)
  24. Kyrie Irving (Nets)
  25. LeBron James (Lakers)
  26. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  27. Kawhi Leonard (Clippers)
  28. Damian Lillard (Blazers)
  29. Brook Lopez (Bucks)
  30. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  31. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  32. JaVale McGee (Lakers)
  33. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  34. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  35. Victor Oladipo (Pacers)
  36. Chris Paul (Thunder)
  37. Mason Plumlee (Nuggets)
  38. Marcus Smart (Celtics)
  39. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  40. Klay Thompson (Warriors)
  41. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  42. Kemba Walker (Celtics)
  43. Russell Westbrook (Rockets)
  44. Derrick White (Spurs)

Pelicans Notes: Ingram, Holiday, Griffin, Hayes

Brandon Ingram has quickly taken over as the first scoring option and the team leader for the Pelicans, writes Scott Kushner of The New Orleans Times-Picayune. That status was emphasized this week when Ingram was selected as a reserve for the All-Star Game, becoming the team’s only representative.

Ingram’s stardom didn’t appear to be a sure thing when he was acquired from the Lakers as part of the Anthony Davis trade. He was dealing with a blood clot condition and a shaky shooting history that raised questions on whether he would ever reach his full potential.

“He was always tough to guard,” Jrue Holiday said. “He could always score. Here, I feel like when we really started getting to play with him in the beginning, it was obvious he can do everything.”

Holiday deserves much of the credit for allowing Ingram to seize the spotlight, Kushner adds. Coming into the season, the veteran guard was expected to fill the leadership role, with executive vice president David Griffin calling him the team’s “best player” and a dark horse MVP candidate at media day.

There’s more from New Orleans:

  • It wasn’t long ago that Ingram feared he might have to stop playing because of health concerns, notes William Guillory of The Athletic. The blood clot issue forced him to miss the final 19 games of last season and sometimes left him unable to work out. Doctors assured Ingram that it wouldn’t be a recurring issue, but he feared his career might be cut short. “I came a long way mentally, physically and emotionally. Just continuing to pursue what I’ve been doing,” he said. “I had good help from my teammates, my coaches, from everybody around the organization putting me in this position.”
  • Griffin is relying on his experience with LeBron James as he helps mold Zion Williamson, relays Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Griffin and James were together for three seasons in Cleveland, reaching the NBA Finals each time. “The blessing of having been with LeBron is I learned a lot of what I did wrong,” Griffin said. “Like the time away, I learned a lot of the mistakes we made. And we made a lot of them. And LeBron was so good, he made us win anyway. So it would be a high-class problem that this kid (Williamson) turns out so good that we can make as many mistakes as we did for LeBron and still win.”
  • Jaxson Hayes has apologized for his social media reaction after learning he wasn’t selected for the Rising Stars Challenge, according to Scott Gleeson and Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today. Hayes posted the apology on Instagram, saying he used “extremely poor judgement and inexcusable language.”

Lakers Notes: Kuzma, Covington, Randle

The Lakers‘ trade options this winter may be somewhat limited, given their lack of mid-level contracts and the fact that three of their players have the ability to veto deals. However, if they’re willing to move Kyle Kuzma, it could open up some doors.

In an Insider-only article for ESPN.com, Kevin Pelton and Bobby Marks explore the Lakers’ trade possibilities, noting that packaging Kuzma with both Quinn Cook and DeMarcus Cousins would be enough for the team to bring back a player earning up to $13.5MM.

While ESPN’s duo offers a few ideas for potential targets, Pelton and Marks agree that Timberwolves forward Robert Covington should be “Option A” for L.A in that scenario. According to Marks, Minnesota will likely have the ability to create a bidding war for Covington if he’s shopped leading up to the deadline, so the Lakers’ package wouldn’t necessarily be enough — especially since the Wolves may prioritize acquiring a point guard.

Here’s more on the Lakers:

  • Within that same ESPN Insider article, Marks questions Kuzma’s overall trade value, while Pelton argues the young forward would be more valuable to another team that could benefit more from his shot creation. While there were reports during last year’s Anthony Davis trade talks with the Pelicans that the Lakers insisted on keeping Kuzma, Marks says he heard from reliable sources that New Orleans was actually focused on Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball anyway.
  • Within a mailbag article, Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register looks at some of the potential factors involved in a Kuzma trade with the Kings or another team, while also addressing LeBron James‘ groin issue and Rajon Rondo‘s up-and-down play.
  • With the Lakers set to host the Knicks on Tuesday night, Julius Randle revisited the end of his tenure in Los Angeles in 2018, suggesting that it “wasn’t the right situation” for him, as Marc Berman of The New York Post relays. “Do I wish it would’ve worked out differently? I don’t get into what-ifs,” Randle said. “It worked out how it was supposed to. I’m happy where I’m at now. Everything in life happens for a reason. Highs and lows of life happens for a reason. It made me the person I am today and I’m extremely happy to be a Knick.”