As the leader of the New York Knicks' resurgence this season, Julius Randle hopes to continue playing with the organization for a long time.
"I love playing in New York," he said when asked about the possibility of re-signing with the team. "I want to retire as a New York Knick."
Randle has a $19.8 million team option for next season that includes a partial guarantee of $4 million. The deal becomes fully guaranteed as long as he's not waived by June 28.
Even though Randle is eligible for an extension this offseason, it could be in his best interest financially to wait until the summer of 2022 before signing a new contract.
Per ESPN's Brian Windhorst, the Knicks can only add four years to Randle's current deal with a 20 percent raise this summer that could bring the total value of his contract with incentives to $140 million over five years.
By waiting until he can become an unrestricted free agent after next season, assuming the Knicks pick up his 2021-22 option, Randle could potentially sign a max extension with New York for $201.5 million over five years.
If Randle were to sign with another team in the summer of 2022, his max deal would be worth $149.4 million over four years.
Randle has significantly increased his negotiating leverage with his performance this season. The 26-year-old was named to the All-Star team for the first time in his career. He's on pace to average career-highs with 24 points on 41.5 percent three-point shooting, 10.3 rebounds and 5.9 assists per game.
The Knicks (38-31) have already clinched their first postseason berth since 2013. They are currently the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference standings with three games remaining in the regular season.