Julius Randle

Knicks Notes: Randle, Barrett, Hart, Quickley, D. Rose

The Knicks will listen to trade offers this summer for Julius Randle and RJ Barrett, but they won’t be eager to move either player unless they get a major star in return, Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News says in a discussion of the team’s offseason plans with Michael Scotto of HoopsHype and Ian Begley of SNY.tv.

Randle is coming off an All-NBA regular season, but he was disappointing in the playoffs for the second time in three years, although an ankle injury contributed to that. Scotto doesn’t believe other teams value him as highly as New York’s front office does, but Bondy questions whether Randle is an effective leader for the Knicks now that they’ve seemingly established themselves as a consistent playoff team. Begley notes that Randle has a personal connection with senior executive William Wesley and team president Leon Rose and states that management won’t try to deal him just because of a disappointing postseason.

Begley points out that some members of the front office were willing to send Barrett to Utah in last summer’s negotiations for Donovan Mitchell, so he’s likely to be made available again if the right deal comes along. Bondy believes any team talking about trading a star player to the Knicks would have to decide whether it would prefer Randle or Barrett in return.

There’s more on the Knicks from that conversation:

  • Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns have been mentioned as potential trade targets, but the three writers are skeptical that either deal will happen this summer. Scotto notes that Sixers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey doesn’t like to trade star players unless he’s getting another one in return and suggests that the Heat look like a better option if Philadelphia ever decides to part with Embiid. Bondy points out that the Towns rumors have been around for a long time, and while he heard two years ago that coach Tom Thibodeau wouldn’t be opposed to a reunion with the Timberwolves big man, things might have changed since then.
  • Thibodeau’s affection for free agent Josh Hart and his CAA connections could help push his next contract into the range of $18MM per year, Scotto adds. He cites a consensus among attendees at last week’s draft combine that Hart plans to re-sign with New York.
  • Immanuel Quickley raised his value with a season that saw him finish second in the Sixth Man of the Year balloting, and his extension could be worth $80MM to possibly $100MM over four years, according to Scotto. Bondy cautions that the Knicks will have to be careful about how much they pay Quickley with big-money deals for Jalen Brunson, Randle, Barrett and likely Hart already in place.
  • The Bulls seem like a natural destination for Derrick Rose, whose $15.6MM team option for next season is unlikely to be picked up, Scotto states. Begley also mentions the Bucks, who were rumored to have interest in Rose during the season.

Knicks Notes: Offseason Plans, Randle, Hart, Exit Interviews

Finding some shooters should be the Knicks‘ top offseason priority, writes Steve Popper of Newsday, who notes that the lack of reliable shot-makers contributed heavily to Friday’s Game 6 loss in Miami. On a night when Jalen Brunson scored 41 points and shot 14-of-22 from the field, the rest of the starters were just 5-of-32.

New York spent several weeks last summer trying to work out a trade for Donovan Mitchell, and Popper expects the front office to be aggressive again in pursuit of another star. Brunson has established himself as the cornerstone of the franchise, but Popper states that decisions have to be made on whether RJ Barrett and Julius Randle are part of the team’s core. He adds that Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley should be considered trade assets, along with the team’s deep collection of draft picks.

“Everybody is going back to zero,” coach Tom Thibodeau said after Friday’s loss. “We have to start all over. You have to work crazy all offseason to get ready for next season. Yeah, we would still like to be playing, that’s why you do it, if you’re a competitive person, that’s what you want. We fell short. There’s disappointment, but I think to look at it and say we learned a lot, let’s use this as motivation and get better. That’s what you have to do.”

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Management has to face some “uncomfortable realities” in its offseason evaluation of Randle, states Stefan Bondy of The New York Daily News. For the second time in three years, Randle has followed an outstanding regular season performance with a flameout in the playoffs. Bondy doesn’t believe Randle can be one of the two best players on a legitimate contender, adding that his moodiness and his tendency to snap at teammates, officials, and coaches can be a distraction.
  • Although Josh Hart was a valuable midseason addition who’s likely to be re-signed, he and Barrett didn’t work well together in playoff lineups, observes Chris Herring of Sports Illustrated. Herring believes Thibodeau made a mistake by starting Hart against Miami because it clogged the lane as defenders dared Barrett and Hart to shoot from the outside and it eliminated the lift that Hart normally provides off the bench.
  • The Knicks won’t make Thibodeau or their players available for end-of-season exit interviews with the media, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

Knicks Notes: Brunson, Barrett, Randle, Offseason, Hart

The Knicks outperformed expectations this season, finishing fifth in the Eastern Conference standings and winning a playoff series, but their impressive run came to an end on Friday with a Game 6 loss in Miami.

One player who couldn’t be blamed for the Knicks’ Eastern Conference Semifinals loss? Jalen Brunson. New York’s major 2022 free agent addition poured in 41 points in just over 45 minutes, with the Knicks winning those minutes by three points — they were outscored by seven in the 2:50 that Brunson spent on the bench in a 96-92 loss.

Brunson had no help on Friday, with the Knicks’ other four starters combining to shoot 5-of-32 from the field, writes Mike Vaccaro of The New York Post. As Vaccaro notes, Brunson blamed himself for a late turnover that helped the Heat seal the game, but if it weren’t for his efforts, New York wouldn’t have had a chance to win at all. With his Game 6 performance, the veteran guard put an exclamation point on an incredible first season as a Knick and earned effusive praise from the head coach on the opposing bench.

“How’s that dude not an All-Star or All-NBA?” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said after the game when he spoke to reporters, including Nick Friedell of ESPN. “He should be on one of those teams. I wish he was still out West. But man, you gotta respect him as a competitor. He’s like a lot of the guys in our locker room. He’s got an iron will. There’s something about these Villanova guys. … He’s just an incredible competitor.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • Knicks forward RJ Barrett and Julius Randle weren’t happy with how they played on Friday with the club’s season on the line, but they view the highs and lows of the playoff experience as good teaching moments for the future and are optimistic that better things are ahead, Friedell writes at ESPN.com.
  • In a separate story for ESPN.com, Friedell examines the three biggest questions facing the Knicks this offseason, including whether they’ll revisit the trade market in search of a disgruntled star. Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype and ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Insider link) also preview the biggest decisions facing New York in the coming months.
  • The Knicks are in an enviable position entering the summer, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic, who points to the team’s playoff run and Brunson’s breakout season as reasons why it should be easier than it was a year ago to sell a star player on the situation on New York. Armed with promising young players and plenty of future draft picks, the franchise has the assets to acquire an impact player or to continue building patiently, as Ian Begley of SNY.tv writes.
  • Asked about the future of Josh Hart, who can turn down a player option to become a free agent this offseason, head coach Tom Thibodeau replied, “I love the guy so that would be … we’d love to have him back” (Twitter link via Begley). Rival executives reportedly consider Hart extremely likely to sign a new deal with the Knicks.

NBA Announces 2022/23 All-NBA Teams

The NBA has officially announced its All-NBA teams for the 2022/23 season.

A total of 100 media members vote on the All-NBA awards. Players received five points for a First Team vote, three points for Second Team, and one point for Third Team, for a maximum total of 500 points. This year’s three All-NBA teams are as follows:

First Team

Second Team

Third Team

A total of 37 players received at least one vote, per the NBA. The top vote-getters who wound up missing out on All-NBA spots were Lakers center Anthony Davis (65), Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (49) and Grizzlies guard Ja Morant (44).

Morant had Rose Rule language in his rookie scale extension, meaning his five-year deal would have started at 30% of next season’s cap had he been voted in; instead, he’ll receive 25% of the cap, which is projected to be a difference of about $39MM across five seasons.

Other players receiving 20-plus points include Bucks guard Jrue Holiday (39), Suns forward Kevin Durant (35) and Knicks guard Jalen Brunson (23). The next three highest were Raptors forward Pascal Siakam (15), Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard (15) and Anthony Edwards of the Timberwolves (14), who is listed under forward but spent most of the season at shooting guard.

As we noted earlier today, both of the Celtics’ top two players will now be eligible for Designated Veteran Extensions, also known as the super-max: Brown will be eligible to sign a five-year extension this offseason that starts at up to 35% of the 2024/25 salary cap, while Tatum will be eligible to sign a super-max extension in 2024 after earning All-NBA nods each of the past two seasons.

Like Brown, Siakam would have been eligible for a super-max extension this summer had he made an All-NBA team. He finished a distant ninth, so his maximum extension will now be worth a projected $192.2MM over four years, tweets Eric Koreen of The Athletic. As Josh Lewenberg of TSN.ca observes (via Twitter), Siakam could still qualify for a super-max deal if he makes an All-NBA spot next season as an impending free agent.

This will be the last season under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. In the new CBA, All-NBA voting will be positionless and players will be required to play a minimum of 65 games to earn major regular season awards. Five of the players honored today — Antetokounmpo, Curry, Butler, Lillard and James — played fewer than 65 this season and would have been ineligible if the new requirements had been in effect, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link).

LeBron extended his own NBA record with his selection, earning a spot on an All-NBA team for the 19th straight season, per ESPN’s Dave McMenamin (Twitter link). No other player has more than 15 total All-NBA awards (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan are tied for second at 15 apiece).

Giannis was a unanimous First Team selection for the fifth straight season, per Eric Nehm of The Athletic (Twitter link), and the only unanimous choice in 2022/23. Antetokounmpo now has more First Team berths than any European-born player, tweets HoopsHype, and only trails Hakeem Olajuwon among international players (six). The Bucks superstar finished third in MVP voting behind Embiid and Jokic, but Jokic received some First Team votes over the Sixers’ MVP winner, which is why Embiid wasn’t a unanimous pick.

According to HoopsHype (Twitter link), this is the first season in league history that only one American player (Tatum) was voted to the First Team. Doncic (Slovenia) and Antetokounmpo (Greece) are European, Embiid was born in Cameroon, and Gilgeous-Alexander is Canadian.

Despite earning an All-NBA nod for the first time, Mitchell wasn’t happy that he didn’t make the First Team, sending out a tweet on the matter.

Northwest Notes: Jackson, Watson, Green, Towns, Sexton

Nuggets coach Michael Malone strongly hinted at possible rotation changes for Game 5 against the Suns on Tuesday night. Malone mentioned that he might use Reggie Jackson as an extra ball-handler and Peyton Watson as a defender, Ryan Blackburn of Mile High Sports tweets. Blackburn notes that the Nuggets were -37 when the starters weren’t on the floor together over the past two games.

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Veteran forward Jeff Green has a simpler solution for how the Nuggets can win the series, which is currently tied at 2-2. “It’s about pride. It’s about effort,” Green told Harrison Wind of the TheDnvr.com. “And it’s about wanting to take on the challenge.” Denver has allowed 43 fast break points in the last two games.
  • Dealing Karl-Anthony Towns, if the Timberwolves choose to go that path, could be made easier if the Knicks get eliminated by the Heat, Michael Rand of The Star Tribune opines. New York seems like a logical landing spot and rumors are already flying about the Knicks having interest in the Timberwolves big man. Towns will make $36MM next season and the Knicks have a combination of starters with suitable salaries (such as Julius Randle and RJ Barrett) and extra draft picks that could entice the Minnesota front office.
  • Coming back from a serious knee injury, Collin Sexton saw his first season with the Jazz marred by hamstring strains. However, he showed improvement in his overall game compared to his time in Cleveland, particularly with his passing and decision-making, according to Sarah Todd of the Deseret News. Sexton shot a career-high 50.6% from the field and made 39.3% of his 3-point attempts. He averaged 14.3 points in 23.9 minutes while appearing in 48 games. Sexton inked a four-year, $71MM contract last summer in a sign-and-trade transaction.

Knicks Notes: Hart, Randle, McBride, Grimes

Josh Hart has been raising his potential value in free agency throughout the postseason and will likely receive a new contract starting in the $15-18MM range, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto talked to four NBA executives to help gauge Hart’s next deal. They all believe he will turn down his $12.96MM player option for next season and sign a new contract with the Knicks.

The 27-year-old swingman has been a valuable addition since being acquired from the Trail Blazers at the trade deadline. He averaged 10.2 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 25 regular season games, mostly off the bench, and his hustle and intensity have made him a favorite of head coach Tom Thibodeau. Hart has seen a different role in the playoffs, starting five of the team’s eight games and matching up with the Heat’s Jimmy Butler in their second-round series.

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • New York needs Julius Randle to snap out of his postseason slump to have a chance to get past Miami, writes Barbara Barker of Newsday. She points out that Randle, who is recovering from a sprained left ankle, has been held to 15 points or fewer in four of his seven playoff games. He was particularly bad on Saturday, shooting 4-of-15 from the field and committing four turnovers. “You take the emotions out of it,” he told reporters Sunday. “This (loss) is not one you can typically flush away. You learn from the game before, what you can do better. … One game is not going to determine how we feel for the next game or what we think the future’s going to be.”
  • With Immanuel Quickley listed as doubtful for Monday’s Game 4 due to a sprained left ankle, second-year guard Miles McBride could see his first significant playoff action, writes Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Thibodeau also didn’t rule out turning to veterans Derrick Rose or Evan Fournier, even though neither has been part of the team’s rotation for months. “Everything’s on the table,” Thibodeau said. “We’ll see how it unfolds.”
  • A Twitter user who identified himself as Quentin Grimes‘ business manager posted a message after New York’s Game 3 loss complaining about Grimes’ usage, per Jared Schwartz of The New York Post. The poster had the username Matthew Z. and handle @mattkeepgoing, and Schwartz notes that Grimes’ manager is Matt Evans, who he grew up with in the Houston area. Grimes started 66 games during the regular season, but he was moved to a reserve role after returning from an injured shoulder.

Knicks Notes: Quickley, Randle, Struggles, Butler

The Knicks will likely be without one of their key reserves for Game 4 of their second-round playoff series against Miami. Immanuel Quickley is listed as doubtful to play on Monday due to a sprained left ankle, the team’s PR department tweets.

Quickley suffered the injury in Game 3 on Saturday, when he scored 12 points in 20 minutes. He’s averaged 9.0 points during the postseason, though he’s struggled with his shooting (34.8%).

We have more on the Knicks:

  • Trailing 2-1 in the series, the team needs Julius Randle to break out of his postseason funk, Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News writes. He was limited to 10 points on 4-of-15 shooting and committed four turnovers in Game 3. Overall, he’s averaging just 15.3 points on 34.6% shooting this postseason. “Some of the looks are different. Defense is a little bit tighter,” Randle said. “So I’ve got to do a better job of finding ways to execute off of that.”
  • Randle’s struggles are far from the only issues the Knicks have encountered against the Heat, Fred Katz of The Athletic opines. Their perimeter shooting and offensive spacing have been subpar, they’re getting out-hustled and they’re not dominating the glass, as they did in the first round against Cleveland.
  • Unless they find a way to counteract Jimmy Butler, the Knicks are doomed, Tom D’Angeleo of the Palm Beach Post opines. Butler returned from a one-game absence to score 28 points in 36 minutes.

Knicks Notes: Brunson, Randle, Quickley, Grimes

The Knicks didn’t get nearly enough production from their star players in Saturday’s loss to the Heat, writes Peter Botte of The New York Post. Jalen Brunson, Julius Randle and RJ Barrett combined to shoot 16-of-51 from the field and 2-of-17 from three-point range as New York was badly outplayed in Game 3.

“A lot of that starts with me,” Brunson said. “They’re a very paint-heavy team when you drive the ball offensively. They’re going to collapse. There’s a lot of eyes on me when I drive the ball, so I have to be able to find guys and get them in the right positions to take their shots. It starts with me, and I know I’ve said this before, I got to be better.”

Randle was able to play 38 minutes Saturday in his second game since returning from a sprained ankle. He didn’t use the injury as an excuse for his 4-for-15 shooting performance and assured reporters that he’ll be fine for the rest of the series.

“Like I said, you all keep asking me. It does not matter. I’ll be available to play,” Randle said. “I get myself ready. In my mind, it’s not a factor. I’ve got to find a way to play better and get a win.”

There’s more on the Knicks:

  • Immanuel Quickley twisted his ankle late in Saturday’s game when he collided with Bam Adebayo in a chase for a loose ball, per Steve Popper of Newsday. Quickley limped to the locker room and isn’t sure about his status for Monday’s Game 4. “It hurt a lot,” he said. “Part of the game.”
  • Coach Tom Thibodeau has made a significant lineup change in this series, Popper adds, using Josh Hart as a starter to match up with Jimmy Butler and bringing Quentin Grimes off the bench. Popper notes that Grimes saw crunch-time minutes in Game 2 in place of Barrett. “I think as games wind down, a lot of it is going to be matchup-driven,” Thibodeau explained. “What are you trying to get to? And that’s the thing. When you factor in Kyle (Lowry) and the thing he does, particularly with Jimmy, there’s a lot of things going on. There are a lot of things going on within the game, so we have to have awareness.”
  • The Knicks’ centers were dominant in the first round, but they haven’t been effective against Adebayo, states Zach Braziller of The New York Post. Mitchell Robinson and Isaiah Hartenstein combined for two points and eight rebounds Saturday, and Thibodeau used a small-ball lineup for much of the fourth quarter with power forwards Randle and Obi Toppin playing together.

New York Notes: Randle, Brunson, Bridges, Simmons

After being sidelined for Game 1 of the Knicks‘ second-round series against Miami due to a left ankle sprain, forward Julius Randle said he had no intention of missing Game 2, writes Steve Popper of Newsday (subscriber link).

Yeah,” Randle said. “There was no way I was sitting out of that one.

It’s not really the pain, man. It’s just the getting back on the court. For me, it was not being able to do anything for a while. Getting my conditioning back … the recovery after, all while trying to nurse an injury. So mentally, it’ll take a toll on you. But my wife, my family, everybody in the organization — thankfully for me, I have a great supporting cast.”

Here are a few more notes out of New York:

  • Knicks point guard Jalen Brunson was limited in Thursday’s practice due to right ankle soreness. However, he told reporters on Friday, including Popper (subscriber link), that he’s “ready to go” for Saturday’s Game 3. Popper heard that Randle and Brunson would not be listed on New York’s injury report and that was indeed the case — both players will be available tomorrow afternoon (Twitter links).
  • Collin Helwig of NetsDaily.com takes a look at Mikal Bridges‘ chances of being selected to his first All-Star team in 2023/24, concluding that the Nets wing has a good shot to make it in as a reserve next season if he can continue his strong play from the second half of ’22/23.
  • Australian national team head coach Brian Goorjian is optimistic about Nets swingman Ben Simmons playing at this summer’s World Cup, which starts in late August, according to Seb Mottram of SEN.com.au. “I think his (Ben’s) mindset is getting healthy, getting in shape and getting ready to play in this (World Cup),” Goorjian told 1170 SEN Afternoons. “… As we sit now, I think there is a really strong chance (that he plays at the World Cup).”
  • ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reports that Simmons would like to compete for the Boomers at the World Cup, though that will depend on how his back rehab is progressing. Sources tell Windhorst that Simmons’ injury recovery is “going well” thus far. The three-time All-Star last played for the Nets on February 15 due to a nerve impingement in his back (he was also dealing with left knee soreness).

Knicks Notes: Randle, Hartenstein, Barrett, Quickley, Hardaway

Julius Randle‘s stat line (25 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists) in the Knicks‘ Game 2 win over Miami on Tuesday suggests he didn’t miss a beat after being sidelined for the first game of the series due to a left ankle injury. However, Randle admitted after the game that the rehab process he went through in order to return for Game 2 wasn’t easy, per Nick Friedell of ESPN.com.

“It was hell,” Randle said. “Just every day around the clock, trying to get my body right. I don’t have a problem doing the work, mentally it’s a grind, though. But I just want to make myself available to the team … just happy that I was able to be out there and contribute and help us get a win.”

Asked after the victory about how his ankle was feeling, Randle deflected the question.

“It doesn’t even really matter, to be honest,” he said, according to Friedell. “I do whatever I got to do to make myself available to play. And just take it a day at a time.”

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • After Mitchell Robinson was a difference maker in New York’s first round win over Cleveland, backup center Isaiah Hartenstein has come up big early in round two. Hartenstein was a team-best plus-six in 14 minutes in Game 1, then played 26 minutes in Game 2 as Robinson battled foul trouble. As Zach Braziller of The New York Post details, Hartenstein gave the Knicks a much-needed spark with his physical play on Tuesday.
  • After an up-and-down first round vs. Cleveland, RJ Barrett has scored 26 and 24 points in the first two games vs. Miami. Barrett, whose nine-figure contract extension will take effect in 2023/24, took a seat late in the game for defensive reasons, but the fourth-year forward earned praise from head coach Tom Thibodeau for his performance, writes Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
  • Immanuel Quickley, the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year runner-up this season, logged a season-low nine minutes in Game 2 and scored just six points, but Thibodeau remains confident that the Knicks will once again lean on Quickley before the series is over, according to Peter Botte of The New York Post. “We need him,” Thibodeau told reporters after the game. “.. He’s got a knack for putting the ball in the basket, and I don’t want him overthinking it. Shoot your shot, when he’s aggressive and attacking, he’ll be fine. We’ve seen him now, as everyone knows, he’s a scorer.”
  • Tim Hardaway Sr., who had been working as a scout for the Knicks, was on an expiring contract and left the team a few weeks ago to pursue media opportunities, a league source tells Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link).