• The New York Knicks should build around Randle than sell him to other clubs
  • Randle cannot hold the Knicks together by himself
  • Oladipo, Rozier and Graham could be the Knicks' targets before the trade deadline

The New York Knicks are the surprise kids of the 2020-21 NBA season and Julius Randle is part of the reason why.

Though the 26-year-old has shown steady improvement the past years, the current season has been a breakout year for the seventh overall pick of the 2014 NBA Draft.

In 22 games, the 6-foot-8 forward has shown good numbers. He is averaging 22.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 6.0 assists in 36.6 minutes of action, digits that have boosted the Knicks campaign. As of this writing, they are 10-13 in the Eastern Conference.

Considering they are coming off a woeful 21-45 record last season, that is already an improvement. Pundits feel that the Knicks should add more players than deal away Randle who is expected to draw a lot of suitors as the NBA trade deadline nears.

Randle is in the second of a three-year deal with New York worth $63 million. He is making $18.9 million this season, the highest for the Knicks. RJ Barret is a far second from him with $8.2 million.

Compared to other teams, the Knicks do have money to spend and would best target players who can compliment Randle.

Among the names that have surfaced include Victor Oladipo of the Houston Rockets and the Charlotte Hornets pair of Terry Rozier and Devonte Graham.

Rozier and Graham’s future with the Hornets has been put in question after the arrival of rookie LaMelo Ball. Both or either guards could make sense for the Knicks who need a young veteran playmaker to help out Randle and company.

Before the breakout of Randle, the Knicks were believed to be looking for an established playmaker to hold the team together.

But with Randle making big strides, they could tone that need a bit and take in a playmaker that may not necessarily be expensive.

Julius Randle
Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks looks to pass the ball Getty Images | Julio Aguilar

So rather than trade bait, Randle could be that player that the Knicks are looking to build around. Outside the numbers he is delivering, he has been helping keep the team together.

But as most know, it takes more than one player to go deep in an NBA regular season.

Making the playoffs is one of New York’s targets this season. But unless they give Randle and Barrett help, advancing beyond the first round of the postseason will be pretty tough.

So expect New York to try and pull some deals by the trade deadline.