The New York Knicks guaranteed a few more years with their All-Star, Julius Randle, inking the forward to a four-year, $117 million extension on Thursday, according to multiple reports.
With one year remaining on his previous deal, Randle’s new contract reads at five years worth a total of $140 million.
It’s a just reward for a player that was the posterchild of the Knicks’ surprising revitalization under head coach Tom Thibodeau. Randle led the way with the finest season of his seven-year career, posting 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and six assists per game, earning the first All-Star selection of his career, the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, and second-team All-NBA honors.
More importantly to the 26-year-old, he made the playoffs for the first time in his career while helping the Knicks end an eight-year postseason drought in one of the more unlikely fashions. New York was expected to finish near the bottom of the Eastern Conference once again. But on the shoulders of Randle, the Knicks earned the No. 4 seed in the East before bowing out in the first round to the Atlanta Hawks.
While Randle’s extension provides a healthy payday, it could have been much more — upwards of $200 million — had he waited for the previous one year remaining on his contract to expire at the end of the 2021-22 season. Instead, the extension gives the Knicks more cap space to continue to add to the roster.
The Knicks have already made a couple of sizable splashes this offseason; first signing shooting guard Evan Fournier earlier this week before reports emerged on Wednesday that New York will sign local product and All-Star point guard Kemba Walker after the Oklahoma City Thunder completes a buyout of his contract.