Julius Randle to Knicks: I want to stay in New York for the long haul

Julius Randle Knicks
Julius Randle (AP Photo/Peter K. Afriyie)

When it is all said and done, Julius Randle will be looked upon as the lynchpin that helped spark the New York Knicks’ turnaround. An estimated time of a potential end to his Knicks tenure, however, is very much uncertain.

The 29-year-old is one of the best power forwards in the NBA — a testament to a tireless work ethic that revitalized a career that once saw him written off by the Los Angeles Lakers and has now led to three All-Star selections in the last four years in New York. 

He is also a key cog in Tom Thibodeau’s machine. Over the last two seasons, he has averaged 24.7 points and 9.7 rebounds per game.

But injuries have been a major problem. He was hampered by a left ankle injury that required offseason surgery last summer after the Knicks were bounced from the second round of the playoffs by the Miami Heat. 

This season, his season ended in late January after dislocating his shoulder — well before the Knicks’ playoff run to the second round where the Indiana Pacers took them out. 

Randle will be ready for next season, which will be his last guaranteed season with the Knicks. He has a player option worth $30.9 million in 2025-26 and if that is exercised, he becomes a free agent the following year. 

The Kentucky product is hoping things in their current standing do not get that far. 

“I’ve always said from the very beginning that I would love to be here in New York and I would love to continue to add on what the guys did in the playoffs,” Randle told reporters atop the Empire State Building. “I feel like that was my biggest personal goal, or I’d say team goal in a sense, was when I got here is to be able to build and compete and to be at the point where we’re at now — where it’s an actual possibility [to win a title].”

Randle is eligible to sign a four-year maximum deal that tops out at $182 million, but team president Leon Rose has other pressing tasks to attend to this summer. OG Anunoby and Isaiah Hartenstein are both unrestricted free agents this offseason — the former revolutionizing the Knicks from a middle-of-the-pack side in the East to a powerhouse after his acquisition from the Toronto Raptors in December. 

For more on Julius Randle and the Knicks, visit AMNY.com