News

Julius Randle, De’Aaron Fox duel in possible trade showcase


Is this Julius Randle’s big audition to be part of “All the Kings’ Men”? And De’Aaron Fox’s Garden tryout? 

The Kings visit Monday amid reports Sacramento is looking to wheel and deal with the same fervor as Leon Rose’s Knicks. 

There’s been reports Fox, the Kings’ point guard, is on the block because his presence with 2020 lottery pick Tyerse Haliburton is a redundancy. 

Knicks GM Scott Perry drafted Fox during his short stint in Sacramento after being fired by Orlando. Perry considers the Fox pick one of his top draft moves, according to a source. 

Knicks executive William Wesley has been embedded in the Kentucky program for years. Fox and Randle both attended Kentucky. 

Nobody knows how much power Perry wields any longer. Perry hasn’t been on the road with the team since November. The only executive traveling with the Knicks since December is Wesley, who has topped Perry in the power structure under Rose. 

De-Aaron Fox (left) and Julius Randle (right) could be dealt before the NBA’s trade deadline.
Getty, AP

With Kemba Walker’s knees and performances shaky, the Knicks can desperately use the fleet Fox, who is averaging 21 points and 5.2 assists but shooting just 21.4 percent from 3. 

The Kings (18-33) might be able to employ Randle, the 2020-21 All-Star power forward who has taken a step back this season. Randle still is plowing to the basket in bullish fashion but has lost his jump shot, decision-making and energy on defense. 

Days after the Knicks added Cam Reddish in a trade to stockpile another asset, The Post reported everything is on the table for the club, including dealing Randle. 

Rose, who hasn’t spoken to the media since September, may realize Randle’s handling of the recent adversity that came after he gave a thumbs-down gesture to the Garden crowd demonstrates he doesn’t have the fortitude to be the face of the Knicks. 

According to an NBA source, Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau has admitted to associates he’s had more trouble getting Randle to play with a selflessness this season than during last season. 

Some in the organization believe Randle’s signing the $117 million contract extension has made him feel he’s got to do more scoring to live up to the pact. 

Tom Thibodeau has not been able to get through to Julius Randle.
Tom Thibodeau has not been able to get through to Julius Randle.
Charles Wenzelberg/New York Post

Randle’s timing has looked off this month. He’s scored in single digits in three games in January. He’s been accused of being disengaged. 

There’s video circulating on social media showing Randle walking away from fallen teammates — Obi Toppin in Milwaukee on Friday and Mitchell Robinson against Detroit last month — instead of extending a hand to pick them up. Each video shows other Knicks teammates arriving to lift Toppin and Robinson. 

Also, during a timeout against the Clippers a week ago at the Garden, Randle was still in the game but not in the huddle, strolling over to have a word with his wife, Kendra, seated behind the bench. 

De'Aaron Fox
De’Aaron Fox
NBAE via Getty Images

Thibodeau has been extremely positive in pumping up Randle to the press, even though his best friend, Jeff Van Gundy, made innuendos on the national telecast of Wednesday’s game with Miami that last season’s Most Improved Player wasn’t showing the same grit as the bench players. 

Thibodeau said after Sunday’s practice no changes will be made to the starting lineup. 

Randle played poorly on the 0-3 road trip to Cleveland, Miami and Milwaukee, where he scored nine points. 

“Work your way through it. There’s a lot of good plays he made in the Milwaukee game,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t want to measure him on just scoring points. There’s the rebounding, passing, team defense, individual defense, leading us through adversity. He’s going to get a lot of attention because of who he is. We have to work through it as a team. It’s how can we help each other.’’

Products You May Like

Articles You May Like

What is an Assist in Basketball? (Full Explanation)
2-1-2 Press – Complete Coaching Guide