NBA Rumors: Julius Randle & Kemba Walker To Timberwolves, D'Angelo Russell To Knicks In Proposed Blockbuster Trade

Julius Randle running the Knicks' offense
Getty | Jim McIsaac

Sports
JB Baruelo

Before the 2021-22 NBA season started, veteran power forward Julius Randle was viewed as one of the players who would lead the New York Knicks back to title contention. However, things have started to change when the actual season began. After failing to live up to the hype of his last season's performance, Randle turned from being a franchise cornerstone into the odd man out in New York.

With the team currently out of the playoff race, rumors have started to swirl around Randle and his future with the Knicks.

Knicks Open To Trading Julius Randle

Julius Randle shooting the ball from the three-point range
Getty | Jason Miller

In a recent conversation with Jeane Coakley of SportsNet New York, NBA insider Ian Begley talked about several interesting topics, including the rumors surrounding Randle. The Knicks may not be actively trading Randle, but Begley revealed that they are open to moving him "for the right return.

"One team in touch with a member of the Knicks recently came away with the impression that Julius Randle would be available for the right return which shouldn't be a surprise because, you know, this team needs to upgrade their roster in any way they can if they want to salvage their season," Begley said, via Twitter.

Proposed Knicks-Timberwolves Trade Features Julius Randle

Julius Randle waiting to hear the referee's decision
Getty | Sarah Stier

Once he becomes officially available on the trading block, several teams that are in dire need of a frontcourt boost are expected to express a strong interest in adding him to their roster. One of the potential suitors of Randle on the trade market is the Minnesota Timberwolves. In a recent article, Jack Simone of NBA Analysis Network discussed a hypothetical blockbuster trade idea that would send Randle to the Timberwolves before the 2022 NBA trade deadline.

In the proposed trade scenario, the Timberwolves would be offering a trade package that includes D'Angelo Russell, Josh Okogie, and a 2024 first-round pick to the Knicks in exchange for Randle and Kemba Walker.

Why Trade Is A No-Brainer For Knicks

D'Angelo Russell asking his teammates to calm down
Getty | Steph Chambers

The Knicks should no longer think twice before pushing through with the suggested trade with the Timberwolves. The potential deal would allow them to put an end to the drama surrounding Randle and unload Walker and his $9 million salary for the 2022-23 NBA season. Aside from getting rid of a major distraction, the Knicks would also be acquiring an All-Star caliber point guard in Russell, a promising wingman in Okogie, and a future first-round pick.

Russell would be a massive upgrade over Walker, giving the Knicks a long-term solution at the starting point guard position. With Randle gone, the Knicks could give more playing time to Obi Toppin, whom they selected as the No. 8 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.

Timberwolves Upgrade Frontcourt

Julius Randle trying to score against Dennis Schroder
Getty | Boston Globe

Randle may have gone through plenty of ups and downs earlier in the 2021-22 NBA season, but he remains a very reliable contributor on both ends of the floor. This season, he's still posting decent numbers, averaging 18.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 5.0 assists while shooting 41.2 percent from the field and 30.7 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. If he could build chemistry with Karl-Anthony Towns, they could form a formidable frontcourt duo in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, though he has shown a massive decline in his performance this season, Walker could still be useful for the Timberwolves. With Russell heading to New York in the proposed trade, Walker could help in filling the hole that he would be leaving in the Timberwolves' backcourt.

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