The Knicks appear to have interest in Julius Randle.
New York “likes” the 24-year-old forward and could pursue him when free agency begins June 30, according to a report from the New York Post. Randle has reportedly opted out of his contract with the Pelicans.
Randle averaged a career-high 21.4 points, along with 8.7 rebounds, in 73 games with the Pelicans in 2018-19. He shot 52.4% from the field and 34.4% from 3-point range.
“It just shows opportunity and preparation,” Randle said about his season, via NOLA.com. “Just years of preparation and hard work and finally coming and getting my opportunity, I was able to make a jump. So, I expect that next year, as well, out of myself. My job is just to prepare.”
Randle spent the first four seasons of his career with the Lakers before signing with the Pelicans in July 2018.
“You’ve just got to look at every situation,” Randle said about free agency in April. “I don’t know what the situation will look like. I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. Would love to be back. But, like I said, you have to look at every situation, look at options, and do what’s best for you and your family and your career at the moment.”
The Knicks, meanwhile, are hoping to have a busy offseason as they’ll reportedly pursue multiple stars. They’ve been linked to Kawhi Leonard, Kemba Walker, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant — who ruptured his Achilles during Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
New York holds the No. 3 pick in the 2019 Draft on Thursday and is expected to pick former Duke star RJ Barrett.
“We’re excited about where we are,’’ Knicks president Steve Mills said last month, via the Post. “We know we’ll get a good player at three. So, it’s something we’re excited about and look forward to. We want to build this team the right way. We’ve always said we’re going to continue to work hard during the draft process. We believe we’re a team that can draft well.’’
The Knicks finished the season with a 17-65 record. They last made the playoffs in 2012-13.