Knicks Rumors: Julius Randle's Leadership Questioned; Can Be 'a Loner' in Locker Room

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 12, 2021

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 08:  Julius Randle  #30 of the New York Knicks against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on December 08, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.     NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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Julius Randle is the best player on the New York Knicks, but he might not be the type of leader that's needed in the locker room after a 12-14 start.

"One source believes locker-room leadership has started to become an issue," Marc Berman of the New York Post reported. "Randle is not a born leader, self-admittedly the quiet type, as is Derrick Rose."

"One source said the forward can occasionally be a loner in the locker room," Berman added.

The Knicks had high expectations after earning the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference last year, but the current record is tied for 11th.

"When you look at the team, there really isn't an outspoken leader," another NBA source told Berman.

Randle earned his first career All-Star selection in 2020-21 while averaging 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists per game, winning the NBA's Most Improved Player in the process.

The Knicks rewarded the 27-year-old with a four-year, $117 million contract extension in the offseason.

The 6'8" forward hasn't been quite as effective early in 2021-22, averaging 19.5 points per game. His three-point shooting has dropped from a career-best 41.1 percent last year to 33.1 through 26 games this season.

New York needs more on-court production from Randle to turn things around, but an increased off-court presence could also be just as important going forward.