The New York Knicks are about to hit a defining fork in the road with their starting power forward, Julius Randle, this offseason. Randle is coming off a career season where he shot 45.6 percent from the field on 18.6 shots per game. The shooting percentage helped him score a career-high of 24.1 points per game.
Randle’s career year creates a dilemma for the Knicks as he is about to enter the final year of his contract before free agency. Randle’s performance during the regular season has put the Knicks in a situation where they want to possibly discuss an extension before he hits free agency to see if they can get him at a lower price.
Brian Windhorst of ESPN stated on May 6th that the New York Knicks would sit down with Randle’s representatives to discuss a long-term extension. Unfortunately, the team can only offer him a maximum of $106.4 million over four years.
The maximum extension is $95.1 million less than if he waited to re-sign in free agency. But is it a smart idea for the Knicks to even be broaching a possible extension with Randle? The answer is: no, as Randle will likely suffer a decline in his statistics next season.
Let’s take a look at the catalyst behind New York Knicks star Julius Randle’s breakout season
During the 2020-21 season, Randle’s success was related to his role as primary ball-handler and 3-point shooting. Entering the NBA draft in 2014, Randle was known as a guy who did most of his offensive damage in the role of primary ball-handler.
20.9 percent of his possessions at the University of Kentucky came either in isolation or in the post. He was able to shoot 39.3 percent in the post. The shooting percentage allowed him to score 0.79 points per possession. He was able to complement his post work with isolations as he scored 0.76 points per possession.
The Knicks replicated how he was used in college as he averaged a career-high of 4.2 post-ups per game. He was able to shoot 46.7 percent from the field on 3 shots a game, averaging 3.9 points per game.
Randle was once again able to complement his post work with isolations as he averaged a career-high of 5.5 isolations per game. He shot 42 percent from the field on 4.6 shots, averaging 5 points per game.
Randle’s working of the low post and isolations allowed him to average 8.9 points per game: 36.9 percent of his scoring output. It is reasonable to expect that Randle will be able to replicate those numbers next season as he is used to being in the post and running isolations since college.