Knicks trade rumors: Speculation surrounding Julius Randle, De’Aaron Fox

De'Aaron Fox Knicks trade rumors
De’Aaron Fox
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Monday night at Madison Square Garden provided a rare blowout for the Knicks, who trounced the Sacramento Kings 116-96. But it also provided a matchup between potential trade partners as both teams are expected to be heavily involved in the market before the NBA’s Feb. 10 deadline. 

The Knicks are suddenly toying with the idea of making major changes due to the letdown that has been the 2021-22 season. After shocking the basketball world to nab the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs last year with a 41-31 record, the Knicks are 24-27 through 51 games; well on their way to surpass last season’s loss total. 

Much of the blame has been directed toward Julius Randle, who has failed to live up to the All-Star-caliber play that helped lead the Knicks to the postseason last year. 

It’s safe to say the honeymoon phase is over. Despite head coach Tom Thibodeau doing his best to defend Randle to the media, the power forward has experienced a significant regression in his game — and it appears to have put a strain on the organization.

Julius Randle Knicks
Julius Randle/Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

He gave the now-famous thumbs-down gesture to the Garden crowd last month in a game against the Boston Celtics, he’s been seen disengaged from team huddles, and he refused to talk to the media which led the Knicks to eat a $25,000 fine.

Therefore it doesn’t provide much of a surprise that Randle’s name is coming up in trade talks. Ian Begley of SNY reported last week that Randle could be had at the right price — though the 27-year-old doesn’t want to go anywhere. 

“I still want to be a part of it,” Randle, who signed a $117 million extension in August, said. “I still want to see this thing through. I still want to be a part of trying to bring a championship to the Knicks. So I’m not going to be happy and be all about it when things are good and just because it’s not necessarily going the way I want it to or the team wants it, to run and hide. I’m still behind this. I’m still sticking it through.”

But the Knicks are going to have to make a decision on Randle — whether they think he can be a top-two player alongside RJ Barrett or if he can be used to bring in an upgrade elsewhere within the depth chart. 

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The Knicks once again are looking for a long-term solution at the point guard spot with Kemba Walker’s first year in New York proving to be a turbulent one. 

Sacramento could be just the trade partner the Knicks are looking for with De’Aaron Fox apparently on the block considering Tyrese Halliburton continues to break out as the Kings’ No. 1 option at the position.

Fox is still averaging 21 points and 5.2 assists per game this season and is seen as one of the more dynamic playmakers that have plenty of links to the Knicks. 

Knicks general manager Scott Perry drafted Fox during his brief stint in Sacramento while team executive William Wesley’s connections to Kentucky as an ambassador provide history with the 24-year-old former Wildcat. 

The Kings could certainly use an upgrade at power forward and Randle could be just that. 

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