Knicks News: Julius Randle 'Loves It' in NY, Wants to Stay amid Trade Rumors

Doric SamApril 10, 2022

New York Knicks' Julius Randle during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Sunday, March 20, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

New York Knicks power forward Julius Randle has had a disappointing season after being named NBA Most Improved Player last year. But despite reported trade rumors, Randle doesn't want to go anywhere.

Knicks president Leon Rose told MSG's Mike Breen that Randle "loves it" in New York and has expressed a desire to remain with the team, per Ian Begley of SNY. Begley added that Randle has also expressed that same sentiment when speaking to beat reporters recently.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported last week that it appeared Randle was trying to force himself out of New York in a "James Harden type of way," referring to the Philadelphia 76ers guard orchestrating two trades in two years to reach his preferred team. Randle was asked about rumors that he asked management for a trade, and he told Begley "that's just not true."

Randle has not played since March 30 because of a sore quad, and he won't suit up for Sunday's regular-season finale against the Toronto Raptors. He ends the year with averages of 20.1 points, 9.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists, down from the 24.1 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.0 assists he averaged a year ago.

After reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2013 last year, the Knicks (36-45) won't even be in this year's play-in tournament. The team has failed to find any consistency all year, and Randle is not exempt from that.

During a home game in January, Randle made a thumbs-down gesture to the crowd at Madison Square Garden. His body language throughout the season amid the team's struggles has not been that of a leader.

Whether Randle is still with the Knicks next year or not, it's clear that New York has a lot to do if it wants to contend for the playoffs in 2022-23.