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REPORT: Knicks, Hornets discussed trade centered around Julius Randle

Julius Randle, Knicks, Hornets

The Charlotte Hornets have touched base with the New York Knicks about sixth-year veteran power forward Julius Randle, according to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor.

Randle signed with the Knicks in the past offseason, inking the team’s richest deal over the summer after missing on big-name targets like Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Kawhi Leonard.

After a single season with the New Orleans Pelicans, Randle set his career best stats — particularly in the time current Los Angeles Lakers All-Star power forward Anthony Davis was sidelined.

The former Kentucky Wildcat, selected by the Lakers with the seventh overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, signed a three-year contract with the Knicks over the summer as a free agent, worth upwards of $63 million with a team option in the final year (it was the only deal New York agreed to in free agency last July past the 2020-21 season).

Randle is the second leading scorer for New York this season behind veteran forward Marcus Morris, who has been one of the sought-after wings at the NBA’s trade deadline (this Thursday at 3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT) due to his strong 3-point shooting this season.

Morris signed a one-year deal with the Knicks in the offseason after reneging on a verbally agreed two-year contract with the San Antonio Spurs. Instead, he “bet” on himself after a two-year stint with the Boston Celtics. There has been strong interest between both parties to sign a long-term deal when Morris is a free agent again in the summer.

Julius Randle is averaging 18.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game for the Knicks this season, but he could see his time in the Big Apple over in fewer than 50 games.