Trade speculation is already swirling around New York Knicks big man Julius Randle following the club's playoff exit, and the Washington Wizards could end up representing a potential destination for him.

It certainly sounds strange, but the Wizards have been named the favorites to land Randle, as they have been given +300 odds by Bet Online.

But why would Washington want Randle?

The Wizards went 15-67 this season, finishing with the second-worst record in the NBA. Only the Detroit Pistons were worse at 14-68.

Randle is not someone you rebuild with at this stage of his career. He is 29 years old, and he would certainly not even want to go to Washington, either. So, it would be rather pointless for the Wizards to even try to deal for him, which is what makes their odds that much more puzzling.

There are certainly other teams that would represent fine landing spots for the three-time All-Star, but Washington doesn't really seem to make much sense.

Will the Knicks entertain trading Julius Randle?

New York Knicks forward Julius Randle (30) reacts during the fourth quarter against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Knicks are coming off of what was probably their best season in 25 years. One can make an argument for the 2012-13 Knicks team that won 54 games, but this New York squad went to a Game 7 in the second round of the playoffs. In 2013, the Knicks were bounced in the second round in six games (funny enough, they lost to the Indiana Pacers both times).

New York won 50 games during the regular season and was able to experience considerable success without Randle, who went down with a shoulder injury in late January.

Some have even questioned whether or not the Knicks would have gone as far as they did in the playoffs if Randle had been available, citing his pedestrian defense and his rather questionable shot selection as reasons why New York may have been better off without him.

Plus, Randle put forth a couple of miserable postseason showings in 2021 and 2023, although he was playing through an ankle injury last year.

On the flip side, the Knicks were also cruising with Randle after acquiring OG Anunoby, having gone 12-2 in 14 games with those two on the floor. Also, Randle averaged an impressive 24 points, 9.2 rebounds and five assists over 35.4 minutes per game this season, so it wasn't like he wasn't putting up numbers. His shooting splits (47.2/31.1/78.1) were a bit polarizing, but you tend to live with that with Randle.

Here is the catch: Randle has one year remaining on his deal and then has a $32.4 million player option for 2025-26. If he maintains his current level of play, he almost certainly will not exercise that option. So, the Knicks can either try and trade him now or potentially try and sign him to a four-year, $181 million contract extension. That would be good for an average annual value of over $45 million, which may be a bit expensive for Randle. Not only that, but Anunoby is set to be a free agent this offseason and is eligible to sign a $117 million extension with New York this summer.

Do the Knicks really want to pay both Randle and Anunoby that much money long term? It would certainly make it difficult for New York to add more pieces to the roster, and it may end up getting stuck in limbo with a team that is good enough to make a deep playoff run but not quite good enough to win a championship.

Taking those things into consideration, it's entirely possible that the Knicks will at least listen to offers for Randle starting next month. Whether or not they actually follow through on trading him is another story entirely.