Julius Randle

Knicks offseason preview: Free agents to be, possible targets & Randle’s future

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Once again, we’re taking a look at Knicks offseason plans in 2023 before some of the fans expected. The team did take a leap forward and overperformed by most expectations, but they fell to a lesser seed and weren’t at their best when it mattered the most.

For the first time in years, the Knicks showed signs of promise and improvement. Tom Thibodeau proved why he should be one of the highest-ranked guys when it comes to head coach salaries, at least in terms of the regular season.

But again, Thibs’ stubbornness and reluctance to give his bench guys a go and try something different was proven costly against Erik Spoelstra and the Miami Heat. So, what do the new-look Knicks have to do to get over the hump?

Knicks offseason plans 2023

In the following sections, we’ll take a look at some of the Knicks offseason rumors, potential trade and free-agency targets, upcoming Knicks free agents, and all the issues Leon Rose and his staff should look to address in the next couple of months.

Free agents

The Knicks don’t have a lot to lose in the offseason. Duane Wahsington Jr. and Trevor Keels were non-factors, so they won’t bat an eye if they walk away. As for Derrick Rose, he fell out of the rotation entirely, so they won’t pick up that team option.


Miles McBride should be a no-brainer with that team option, and they should continue to bring him in slowly and steadily. As for Josh Hart, they cannot afford to lose his grittiness, rebounding, and defense, but he’ll most likely want to stay with fellow Villanova alumni Jalen Brunson.

Potential Knicks free agency targets

If we were to judge by social media, one could believe that the Knicks free agency targets in 2023 would be something out of NBA 2K. Brace yourselves to see James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Khris Middleton, Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell, and many others photoshopped into Knicks jerseys in the weeks to come.

But realistically speaking, the Knicks might not be that lucky in free agency — again. This team has historically fallen short when it comes to landing elite talents in the offseason, but it’s not like they should go all-in in this year’s free-agent market, either.

Instead, they should look to add role players and depth, going after guys like Seth Curry, Donte DiVincenzo, Gary Trent Jr., or Caris LeVert. They need another bucket-getter, and someone who can guard the wing, perhaps even Kyle Kuzma or Dillon Brooks.

Will RJ Barrett ever be a star?

Again, plenty of the Knicks’ championship hopes will hang on whether RJ Barrett will ever take a leap forward or not. He should be a better player by now, and he’s shown little-to-no sign of improvement since entering the league, being the same streaky scorer he was coming out of Duke.


Barrett has improved his shot selection but that hasn’t translated into improved efficiency. He’s not a plus-factor on the defensive end of the floor, and he’s not even the second-best player on the team right now. Will they continue to hold on to the hope of him ever taking that leap? Or will they at least test the field for him?

What about the youngsters?

Tom Thibdeaou is infamous for keeping his youngsters in the dog house, but Immanuel Quickley and Obi Toppin have already paid their dues. It’s time they get an extended run, even if the front office needs to step up and push the coach to get that to happen.

Toppin isn’t much of a defender, but he’s always given the team a burst of energy and positive minutes, and Quickley is a walking bucket. They’re both eligible to sign a contract extension, and they’d be wise to get that out of the way sooner rather than later.

Moving on from Julius Randle

Likewise, it’s time to address the Julius Randle situation. He’s not made to lead, and that’s fine because they already have a leader in Jalen Brunson, but he’s hurt them in the playoffs more often than not now. He dominates in the regular season, but then gets exposed when double-teamed in the postseason.

Randle is a good second or third scoring option for a contending team, or a primary go-to guy on a tanking team. He’s stuck in that limbo, and that’s not what you want if you’re building a championship contender from scratch. They should consider moving him.

Landing an All-Star

And last but not least, the Knicks offseason plans 2023 should once again focus on trading for an All-Star caliber player. They failed to acquire Donovan Mitchell last season, but they have enough assets to one-up every potential offer around the league.

They own all of their first-round picks from 2024 onward and also have first-rounders from the Milwaukee Bucks, Dallas Mavericks, Washington Wizards, and Detroit Pistons. New York could trade up to eight first-rounders and add some of the younger players to make a godfather-like offer for a potential disgruntled star or player who no longer fits a team’s plans.

Karl-Anthony Towns, OG Anunoby, or even Zach LaVine or DeMar DeRozan seem like players who could be available at the right price, and all of them would significantly raise the Knicks ceiling and floor. It’s been long enough, it’s time to go all-in and make a blockbuster, league-shattering deal.

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