The recently introduced president of the New York Knicks, Leon Rose, already had an impossible job to do when he accepted the high-profile position. Now he has to decide if he wants to trade away or keep the team’s most talented player and his own client, Julius Randle.
According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, Rose, who is a well-respected agent in the NBA for Creative Arts Agency (CAA), is “certainly open to either dealing Randle or not executing his contract option for the 2021-22 season, though in that case, he still would count for $4 million on the salary cap.”
Randle is owed almost $19 million for the 2020-21 season and another $19.8 million for the 2021-22 season, however, only $4 million from his final year are guaranteed.
CAA is home to a large portion of the world’s top talent, including two of Randle’s fellow Knick teammates, Elfird Payton and Frank Ntilikina. The agency is massive in terms of staff and clients, and while Randle didn’t directly work with Rose (his primary agent is technically Aaron Mintz) there is obviously a personal connection between the two.
Rose has been tasked with rebuilding the Knicks from the gutter they’ve been buried in for the last two decades and most tend to believe that Randle is not in the future plans. There were reports before the trade deadline back in February that the Knicks were contemplating sending Randle to the Charlotte Hornets, although that never came to fruition. Earlier this month, there were reports that Knicks players were “frustrated” by Randle’s selfish play.
In his lone season with New York thus far, the former Wildcat led the Knicks in scoring and rebounds with 19.5 points and 9.7 rebounds per game. However, Randle’s 3.0 turnovers per game (with only 3.1 assists per game) and 27.7 percent shooting clip from 3 left a sour taste in the mouths of Knick fans.
Whether or not Rose’s relationship with Randle will help him stay in New York or not is still to be seen. Knicks fans are probably enthused to hear that their new president is willing to set aside his bias and do what is best for the team – it’s a much-needed breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, his objectivity might come at the expense of Randle’s future.
Berman also noted in his mailbag that Rose will look for an experienced head coach who has a track record of winning in the NBA, that is, “if John Calipari doesn’t want the job.”
But I wouldn’t read into this much at all. Calipari does have a relationship with Rose and there are always rumors that he might accept a position for a city like New York if he can acquire some star power. The Knicks do have plenty of future cap space, but who knows if they can actually make it worth their while. Leaving Lexington for the NBA at this point, especially the Knicks, is a death sentence for Cal. He has it wayyyy too good at UK. But don’t be surprised if these rumors pop up once again.