Knicks News: Julius Randle Signs 3-Year, $63M Contract in Free Agency

New Orleans Pelicans center Julius Randle (30) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Denver. The Pelicans won 120-112. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Julius Randle has agreed to sign a three-year, $63 million deal with the New York Knicks, according to his agents, Aaron Mintz and Steve Heumann.  

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN shared the confirmation from Randle’s agents.

He declined his player option, which was part of the two-year, $18 million deal he signed with New Orleans after the Los Angeles Lakers renounced his rights.  

“If you ask every [NBA] player if they had their dream scenario, their dream scenario is everyone just wants to be wanted,” Randle told The Undefeated’s Marc J. Spears in September 2018. “For me talking to New Orleans, they wanted me. I was a part of their future.”

Fast-forward to now, and it’s clear the Knicks wanted him.

In four seasons with Los Angeles, the 2014 seventh overall pick topped out at 16.1 points per game. All Randle did in his lone season in New Orleans was post a career-high 21.4 points while adding 8.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

He finished the season on a strong note, averaging 24.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game following the All-Star break.

Randle was first linked to New York when Spears reported in late June that the Knicks had him, along with a number of other big men, on their radar. Spears noted there was mutual interest.

New York had been in the market for frontcourt help after parting ways with Kristaps Porzingis and Enes Kanter this past season.

The Knicks have some young talent in third overall pick RJ Barrett, 2018 ninth overall pick Kevin Knox and 2018 second-round pick Mitchell Robinson. However, they entered the offseason without a consistent scoring threat. Unrestricted free agent Emmanuel Mudiay (14.8 PPG) was the team’s leading scorer among players who finished the 2018-19 season in the Big Apple.

Barrett was arguably the top scorer in this year’s draft class, but it would not be fair to ask him to carry the team as a rookie. Bringing in Randle provides David Fizdale with another scorer, one who should help take some of the pressure off Barrett.

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