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Rumor: Knicks open to trading Julius Randle

Julius Randle, Knicks

The New York Knicks might be forced to make some moves before the upcoming trade deadline, but one many didn’t see coming was that of their first acquisition of the summer, Julius Randle.

The franchise is reportedly “open” to trading Randle, according to Steve Popper of Newsday, despite having his contract guaranteed for next season. The 6-foot-8 forward signed a three-year, $62.1 million deal in free agency shortly after the Knicks missed out on Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

He would be the first of four power forwards signed this summer, along with Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, and leading scorer Marcus Morris, who is also heavily involved in trade rumors.

Morris noted he has every intention of finishing the season with the Knicks and then exploring free agency after his one-year, $15 million deal expires, but it’s tough to say that for a player like Randle. He has gone from 21, 17, 26, and 35-win seasons with the Lakers to a 33-win foray with the New Orleans Pelicans, only to land with a Knicks team that is 6-21 this season, challenging for one of the worst records in the league.

The 25-year-old hasn’t known winning at the NBA level after leaving Kentucky to take part in the 2014 NBA Draft. If the right offer comes along, the Knicks would be smart to take it, given the shortcomings with this power forward logjam, now a third of the way through the season.

Randle is averaging 17.4 points and 8.7 rebounds on the season, taking a notable dip in efficiency from his past two robust campaigns with the Lakers and Pelicans.