Knicks sign Julius Randle to four-year extension

·4 min read
Julius Randle pulls up vs. Spurs blue uniform
Julius Randle pulls up vs. Spurs blue uniform

The Knicks have signed Julius Randle to a four-year extension worth $117 million, a source confirmed to SNY's Ian Begley.

League sources told SNY that Randle loves the Knicks, loves the fans, and was ready to commit his prime to the team -- wanting to commit early to give the organization as much flexibility as possible.

The deal tacks four additional years onto Randle's current contract that was set to expire after the 2021-22 season, bringing the total value to $140 million.

Randle had been eligible for a new deal worth roughly $200 million if he played out the final year of his current deal and became an unrestricted free agent.

The extension of Randle caps off what has been a wild last four days for the Knicks that began with the opening of free agency on Monday night.

After re-signing Derrick Rose, Alec Burks, and Nerlens Noel -- each to three-year deals -- the Knicks signed Evan Fournier to a four-year deal. All of those contracts contain a team option on the final season, which creates some flexibility for the Knicks.

On Wednesday, the Knicks pulled off a shocking move, agreeing to sign point guard Kemba Walker after Walker worked out a buyout with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Knicks have seemingly used all of their 2021 cap space at this point. They have a $4.9 exception and veteran’s exceptions left over to sign players.

Now matter how New York spends that remaining money, the club did well to locked up Randle through the 2024-25 season. The deal includes a player option on the final season, sources confirmed. The agreement was first reported by ESPN.

Last season, Randle engineered one of the more remarkable comeback stories in recent Knick history.

In the summer of 2019, Randle was the Knicks’ biggest offseason signing after they failed to land top targets like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

He struggled with his shooting during the 2019-20 season and needed time to adapt to his new role. The Knicks also struggled as a team, finishing 21-45. Then team president Steve Mills and head coach David Fizdale lost their jobs during the season. Randle was criticized by media and fans.

There were reports – including one from SNY – about the Knicks considering trade packages that included Randle ahead of the 2020 trade deadline and during the 2020 offseason.

“Sometimes you gotta go through something, sometimes you gotta learn,” Randle said during an interview with Fat Joe. “I had to learn, I had to take my hits.”

Randle could have been demoralized amid all of the negativity. Instead, he went to work in the 2020 offseason and played the best basketball of his career in 2020-21.

Randle averaged a career-high 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds, and 6.1 assists while playing 37.6 minutes per contest in 71 regular season games. For his efforts, Randle earned a spot on the Eastern Conference All-Star team and the second team All-NBA.

Some people in the Knicks organization were impressed by Randle’s ability to thrive in 2020-21 after dealing with so much negativity in his first season as a Knick.

“He can handle it here,” one member of the organization said during the season.

After such a strong year, Randle could have bet on himself this coming season and held out for a bigger payday in the 2022 offseason. If he played well, he could have signed a new contract worth roughly $200 million. If he struggled or got hurt, he’d put his financial future at risk.

Randle opted for security on Thursday. He also gave the Knicks some financial flexibility.

That decision will probably make Randle even more beloved by Knick fans, some of whom wanted to run him out of town after 2019-20.

“Everybody can’t come to New York and take the hits, take the hits of the city, take the hits of the media, take the hits of the fans,” Randle said in his interview with Fat Joe. “It’s real."

“That’s what I signed up for,” he added. “ ...I felt like I was meant for this.”

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