Trade No. 3 – New York Knicks
Miami Heat Receive: F/C Julius Randle
New York Knicks Receive: F Kelly Olynyk, G Kendrick Nunn, F KZ Okpala, MIA 2022 1st Round Pick
Early on this season, Julius Randle has single-handedly given the New York Knicks hope this season and while R.J. Barrett is the future of their organization, Randle is the now and is earning every bit of his $18.9M contract this season. He is averaging close to a triple-double for the season with the Knicks so far and is on his way to making his first All-Star appearance of his career.
Randle looks like a completely different player for the Knicks than he has early in his career and is definitely the type of player the Heat need. When Bam Adebayo went down in the NBA Finals last season, they did not have another frontcourt player that could pick up the slack left behind. They did draft Precious Achiuwa this offseason and he looks to be a promising young player, but Randle can join the Heat now and immediately give them one of the better frontcourts in the league.
While Julius Randle is playing the best basketball of his career, the New York Knicks have to make a choice sooner than later about his future with this organization. He is under contract this season and then for the 2021-22 season, his contract is partially-guaranteed for $4M, making him a prime trade target for many teams around the NBA.
His value is not going to get any higher than it is now and if the Knicks do not see a future with Randle being involved long-term, they need to trade him now to get the most out of him. Getting a player Kendrick Nunn, who was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year last year, and a veteran frontcourt player like Kelly Olynyk can really help the Knicks offensively. Plus, the first-round pick they would be getting gives them yet another opportunity to build their team of the future through the draft.
Acquiring Julius Randle from the Knicks gives the Heat a lot of options to play around with rotation wise, but it also makes them a much better transition team. Given Randle’s ability to run the court with or without the ball in his hands and his above-average abilities to run the court as a big man, the Heat would be able to push the ball in transition with ease.
Next to Bam Adebayo in the frontcourt, Randle would likely be slotted as a power-forward in their lineup, but it really would not matter as both guys would look to be dominant in the paint and also having the ability to step out and knock down mid-range jumpers.
This team needs that third star player on its roster in order to be legit in the Eastern Conference and Julius Randle can be that guy, as he’s shown with the Knicks. He is likely going to be an All-Star for the first time in his career this season, giving Miami three potential All-Star level talents and a legit chance to “run it back” against the defending champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.