According to Knicks Fan TV, the New York Knicks' top offseason priority is trading Julius Randle; the Utah Jazz are a potential trade partner.
According to Knicks Fan TV, the New York Knicks‘ number one offseason priority is trading Julius Randle, and the Utah Jazz are a potential buyer.
Randle, 25, is one season through a three-year, $62 million contract with the Knicks. Randle averaged 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game while shooting 46.0 percent from the field this season.“Number one priority this offseason for the Knicks will be trading Julius Randle. They are going to look to trade Julius. And the first trade rumor that I’m hearing is Julius Randle to the Utah Jazz for Mike Conley and draft considerations.”
The 2019-20 NBA season was Mike Conley’s first run with the Jazz. He averaged 14.4 points, 4.4 assists and 0.8 steals per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. Conley is entering the final season of a five-year, $153 million deal.
The Knicks could have upwards of $40 million in cap space this offseason depending on what they do with the handful of team options they hold on veteran players (Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Elfrid Payton, Wayne Ellington and Reggie Bullock). A Randle-for-Conley trade would add roughly $13 million in payroll for the Knicks next season.
Conley, 32, would presumably become new Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau‘s starting point guard. They could subsequently select a wing/forward such as Florida State’s Devin Vassell or Auburn’s Isaac Okoro, who each reportedly interest the Knicks, with the eighth pick in this year’s NBA Draft. New York also owns the 27th and 38th selections in the upcoming draft.
From Utah’s perspective, Randle could start in-between a healthy Bojan Bogdanovic and Rudy Gobert or serve as the team’s sixth man. They could then pursue a lead guard in the offseason to start next to Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz lost to the Denver Nuggets in seven games in the first round of the NBA playoffs this season.
I don't know if this is BS or not, but given that Walt Perrin and Johnnie Bryant both left the Jazz to join the Knicks in the past two months - it could have some weight to it. Though, it should be pointed out that Mike Conley's $34.5 million dollar salary and Julius Randle's $18.9 don't exactly match. They only need to get within 15%, but what I think would work is:
Mike Conley 34 for Julius Randle $18 + Taj Gibson $9.4 + Frank Ntilikina $ 5M+ the Jazz and Knicks swap picks, the Jazz 23rd for the Knicks 27th pick and 38th pick.
Why does Utah do it?
1. The Mike Conley chemistry with Donovan Mitchell never materialized. Mike never looked like himself in the Jazz system and clearly needs the ball more to be effective.
2. The Jazz need more bench depth, more defense, more rebounding and more athleticism. This deal addresses 3 team problems by moving one player.
3. Julius Randle is the crux of this deal, he's a two-way player and former teammate of Jordan Clarkson's. He's a decent shot blocker, but what would excite the Jazz about a guy like him is his ability to get steals and immediately put the ball on the floor and run down for the dunk. When players hesitate (even for a second) posting up against Randle, he gets his hands on the ball and initiates a fast break. With Gobert at his back and Donovan Mitchell at his side, this is going to become a deadly defensive play in the Jazz arsenal.
4. Why does Utah want Taj Gibson? Taj is a savvy vet who shot 59% EFG from the floor, he's got a long wing span (6'9" w 7'4" wingspan) and can play the 4 or 5 as a backup.
5. Frank Ntilikina is from FRANCE. He's 6'4" with a 7'1" wingspan. DL historically loves to pursue guys with long wingspans.
5B. He's never really had a coach/system to help him develop. In his 3 years with the Knicks, he played for 3 different head coaches.
5C. He only shot 32% from behind the arc, but shot 86% on free throws - that usually means his stroke is pure. If he is taking open looks in Utah's system as opposed to having shoot over defenses - it could be a huge difference maker for him, not to mention Utah has the best screen-assist guy in the NBA vis-a-vi Rudy Gobert.
5D. His D. He already averages just under 1 steal per game in only 20 mpg.
6. The Jazz get 2 draft picks sort of close together and one is a non-guaranteed contract. They also still have veterans MIN contract and MID-LEVEL exception at their disposal.
Why does New York do it?
1. Mike Conley is the ultimate professional, sportsman and leader. If you are rebuilding there is no one better in the NBA for your locker-room or to groom your new players into becoming consummate professionals.
2. It clears a ton of cap space for them - to pursue free agents this summer and next - which is NYs preferred method of rebuild. Especially with 2021 free agents possibly including: Jason Tatum, Blake Griffin, Victor Oladipo, Paul George, Kwahi Leonard, Lebron James, Kyle Kuzma, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, De'Aaron Fox. NY wants to take a swing at some of these guys.
3. Coach Tom T has had issues with players and attitudes in the past, having a locker room leader like Mike Conley will help things run smoothly. He could be the difference between making the playoffs or not in the Eastern conference, and that could be a big difference when it comes to recruiting free agents.
4. Taj Gibson is 35 years old, and they are rebuilding.
5. The Knicks picked Frank Ntilikina ahead of Donovan Mitchell and he averages 6.0 ppg - he is the most hated player on the roster. Moving him would also allow the Knicks to see what exactly they DO have with the remaining guards on their roster playing Mike Conley with Dennis Smith Jr. at the 2 guard, and RJ Barrett at the 3 spot.
Assuming the Jazz make NO other trades, and use their MIN and MLE, the roster could look like this:
C- Rudy Gobert, Aron Baynes
PF- Julius Randle, Taj Gibson
SF- Bojan Bogdanovic, Joe Ingles
SG- Frank Ntilikina, Royce O'Neale
PG- Donovan Mitchell, Jordan Clarkson
Use the MIN - on Aron Baynes, and the MLE on either Mo Harkless, Jerami Grant, or Derrick Jones Jr. - the best two-way athlete you can get. Someone who could back up Bogey, but also play alongside him for stretches.