As Windhorst writes, the fact that Randle’s $19.8MM salary for 2021/22 is only partially guaranteed for $4MM made him – coming into this season – a possible trade candidate or even an eventual release candidate. However, the 26-year-old’s performance in 2020/21 has changed the equation considerably.
In 65 games, Randle has averaged 24.1 PPG, 10.2 RPG, and 5.9 RPG with a .461/.420/.809 shooting line in a league-high 37.3 minutes per contest. He earned his first All-Star nod and has led the Knicks to a top-four seed in the East with just six games left in the regular season.
Since Randle signed a three-year contract in July of 2019, he’ll become eligible for a veteran extension this summer, two years after his initial signing date. A new deal could tack on up to four extra years, beginning in 2022/23, though the starting salary would be limited to 120% of his ’21/22 cap figure. A “maximum” four-year extension for Randle would have a base value of $106.44MM.
As Windhorst notes, that would be a nice payday for Randle, but it’s significantly less than his maximum salary as a free agent — he might be in line for an even more lucrative contract in 2022’s free agent period if he has another All-Star caliber season next year.
A shorter-term extension for Randle that gives him some additional financial security while still putting him on track to reach the open market during his prime years would also be an option for the two sides, Windhorst notes.
Sources tell ESPN that extension talks between Randle and the Knicks this summer may ultimately come down to how badly the former lottery pick wants to remain in New York. Right now, Windhorst says, that desire is strong.